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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, Siyu;
  • Zhang, Xiao;
  • Zhou, Wu;
  • Gao, Rui;
  • Xu, Wenqian;
  • Ye, Yifan;
  • Lin, Lili;
  • Wen, Xiaodong;
  • Liu, Ping;
  • Chen, Bingbing;
  • Crumlin, Ethan;
  • Guo, Jinghua;
  • Zuo, Zhijun;
  • Li, Weizhen;
  • Xie, Jinglin;
  • Lu, Li;
  • Kiely, Christopher J;
  • Gu, Lin;
  • Shi, Chuan;
  • Rodriguez, José A;
  • Ma, Ding
  • et al.

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 (α-MoC) substrate to create an interfacial catalyst system for the ultralow-temperature WGS reaction. Water was activated over α-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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