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Mechanism of Methanol Decomposition over Single-Site Pt1/CeO2 Catalyst: A DRIFTS Study


Single-site catalysts have drawn broad attention in catalysis because of their maximum atomic utilization and unique catalytic performance. Early work in our group has shown a 40-fold higher activity of methanol decomposition over single-site Pt1/CeO2 catalyst than CeO2 supported 2.5 nm Pt nanoparticles, while a molecular-level understanding of such enhancement is lacking. Herein, the reaction mechanism of methanol decomposition over Pt1/CeO2 was carefully investigated using in situ DRIFTS, and a reaction pathway was proposed. Methanol molecules were dissociatively adsorbed on nanoceria support first, followed by the diffusion of as-formed methoxy species onto Pt single sites where the dehydrogenation occurs and results in the weakly bonded CO. The ease of methanol dissociative adsorption on nanoceria support and the tailored electronic property of Pt1 via the metal-support interaction are believed to be strongly correlated with the high activity of Pt1/CeO2.

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