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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Atomic-layered Au clusters on α-MoC as catalysts for the low-temperature water-gas shift reaction

  • Author(s): Yao, S
  • Zhang, X
  • Zhou, W
  • Gao, R
  • Xu, W
  • Ye, Y
  • Lin, L
  • Wen, X
  • Liu, P
  • Chen, B
  • Crumlin, E
  • Guo, J
  • Zuo, Z
  • Li, W
  • Xie, J
  • Lu, L
  • Kiely, CJ
  • Gu, L
  • Shi, C
  • Rodriguez, JA
  • Ma, D
  • et al.

© 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved. The water-gas shift (WGS) reaction (where carbon monoxide plus water yields dihydrogen and carbon dioxide) is an essential process for hydrogen generation and carbon monoxide removal in various energy-related chemical operations. This equilibrium-limited reaction is favored at a low working temperature. Potential application in fuel cells also requires a WGS catalyst to be highly active, stable, and energy-efficient and to match the working temperature of on-site hydrogen generation and consumption units. We synthesized layered gold (Au) clusters on a molybdenum carbide (a-MoC) substrate to create an interfacial catalyst system for the ultralow-temperature WGS reaction. Water was activated over a-MoC at 303 kelvin, whereas carbon monoxide adsorbed on adjacent Au sites was apt to react with surface hydroxyl groups formed from water splitting, leading to a high WGS activity at low temperatures.

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