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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Density functional theory study of nitrous oxide decomposition over Fe- and Co-ZSM-5

  • Author(s): Ryder, Jason A.;
  • Chakraborty, Arup K.;
  • Bell, Alexis T.
  • et al.

Iron- and cobalt-exchanged ZSM-5 are active catalysts for the dissociation of nitrous oxide. In this study, density functional theory was used to assess a possible reaction pathway for the catalytic dissociation of N2O. The active center was taken to be mononuclear [FeO]+ or [CoO]+, and the surrounding portion of the zeolite was represented by a 24-atom cluster. The first step of N2O decomposition involves the formation of [FeO2]+ or [CoO2]+ and the release of N2. The metal-oxo species produced in this step then reacts with N2O again, to release N2 and O2. The apparent activation energies for N2O dissociation in Fe-ZSM-5 and Co-ZSM-5 are 39.4 and 34.6 kcal/mol, respectively. The preexponential factor for the apparent first-order rate coefficient is estimated to be of the order 107 s-1 Pa-1. While the calculated activation energy for Fe-ZSM-5 is in good agreement with that measured experimentally, the value of the preexponential factor is an order of magnitude smaller than that observed. The calculated activation energy for Co-ZSM-5 is higher than that reported experimentally. However, consistent with experiment, the rate of N2O decomposition on Co-ZSM-5 is predicted to be significantly higher than that on Fe-ZSM-5.

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