Publication

Nanoscale tomography reveals the deactivation of automotive copper-exchanged zeolite catalysts

by Joel E. Schmidt, et al.

Abstract 

Copper-exchanged zeolite chabazite (Cu-SSZ-13) was recently commercialized for the selective catalytic reduction of NO X with ammonia in vehicle emissions as it exhibits superior reaction performance and stability compared to all other catalysts, notably Cu-ZSM-5. Herein, the 3D distributions of Cu as well as framework elements (Al, O, Si) in both fresh and aged Cu-SSZ-13 and Cu-ZSM-5 are determined with nanometer resolution using atom probe tomography (APT), and correlated with catalytic activity and other characterizations. Both fresh catalysts contain a heterogeneous Cu distribution, which is only identified due to the single atom sensitivity of APT. After the industry standard 135,000 mile simulation, Cu-SSZ-13 shows Cu and Al clustering, whereas Cu-ZSM-5 is characterized by severe Cu and Al aggregation into a copper aluminate phase (CuAl2O4 spinel). The application of APT as a sensitive and local characterization method provides identification of nanometer scale heterogeneities that lead to catalytic activity and material deactivation.

Read more

Download Publication

Access for Nature Communications subscribers only.

Publication Citation

Nature Communications 2017 November 28, 2017
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01765-0

Share