Controlling Selectivity in CO2 Reduction through Mechanistic Understanding

Controlling Selectivity in CO<sub>2</sub> Reduction through Mechanistic Understanding


  • Xiang Wang, Cummins Technical Center, Columbus, Indiana
December 13, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm


Catalytic CO2 conversion to energy carriers and intermediates is of utmost importance to energy and environmental goals. However, the lack of fundamental understanding of the reaction mechanism renders designing a selective catalyst inefficient. The speaker will describe operando experiments in which transmission Fourier transform infrared/steady-state isotopic transient kinetic analyses were carried out to determine the correlation between the kinetics of product formation and those of surface species conversion during CO2 reduction over Pd/Al2O3 catalysts. The rate-determining step for CO formation was determined to be the conversion of adsorbed formate; the rate-determining step for CH4 formation was determined to be the hydrogenation of adsorbed carbonyl. The balance of the hydrogenation kinetics between adsorbed formates and carbonyls governs the selectivity to CH4 and CO. Catalysts that were designed based on that knowledge achieved high selectivity to desired products.

Sponsoring Organization 

Chemical Sciences Division


  • Chemical and Materials Sciences Building
  • Building: 4100
  • Room: C-201

Contact Information

  • Email: Zili Wu
  • Phone: 865.574.7099