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Catalyst for air cleaning at lower temperatures


Catalytic oxidation is one of the most important processes for removing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from industrial waste gases. Transition metal nanoparticles immobilized on a suitable support are low-cost alternative to currently used noble metal-containing catalysts. A synergistic effect was observed in some cases over bimetallic transition metal supported catalysts that enhanced their total oxidation activity at lower temperatures in comparison to monometallic ones. To study the mentioned phenomenon, cupper and iron functionalized γ-alumina was designed. Namely, alumina is one of the most commonly used industrial catalyst supports because it is easily scalable and cost-effective.

A γ-alumina support functionalized with transition metals is one of the most widely used industrial catalysts for the total oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOC) as air pollutants at higher temperatures (280–450 °C). By rational design of bimetal CuFe-γ-alumina catalyst, synthesized from dawsonite alumina precursor, the activity in total oxidation of toluene as a model VOC at lower temperature (200–380 °C) is achieved. The nature of the metal-support bonding and the optimal abundance between Cu–O–Al and Fe–O–Al species in the catalysts leads to synergistic catalytic activity promoted by small amounts of iron (Fe/Al=0.005). The presented material introduces a perspective family of low-cost and scalable oxidation catalysts with superior efficiency at lower temperatures.

Understanding the structure-property-activity relationship of the designed bimetallic oxide catalysts on γ-alumina support is extremely important not only for the described targeted application for air pollution prevention but also for other applications in heterogeneous catalysis, green chemistry, advanced manufacturing and furthermore in electrocatalysis and photocatalysis.

Tadej Žumbar and Nataša Novak Tušar with coauthors from the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Technology (D09), Department of Materials Chemistry (D10), University of Nova Gorica, Italy (ELETTRA synchrotron) and Bulgaria (Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of science) published on the results of this research in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (IF = 10.383).



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