The Superior Hydrothermal Stability of Pd/SSZ-39 in Low Temperature Passive NOx Adsorption (PNA) and Methane Combustion

We successfully synthesized uniform SSZ-39 with an average crystal size of about a micron. Pd (0.7 - 3 wt%) was supported on SSZ-39 with Si/Al ratio ~12. The as-synthesized materials were characterized by FTIR, XRD, Helium Ion Microscopy, HAADF-STEM imaging, 27Al, 29Si and H solid state NMR spectroscopic techniques.
FTIR studies with CO and NO probe molecules reveal that the 0.7 wt% Pd/SSZ-39 material with Si/Al ~12 has the majority of Pd dispersed atomically as isolated Pd(II) and Pd(II)-OH centers, and thus can be used as a low-temperature passive NOx adsorber. Pd(II)-NO, Pd(II)(OH)(NO) and Pd(II)(CO)(NO) complexes form during PNA in this material. We compare this PNA material directly with the Pd/SSZ-13 system (with Si/Al ratio ~12) and show its superior hydrothermal stability. Remarkably, Pd/SSZ-39 with Si/Al ratio ~12 survives hydrothermal aging up to 815 ºC in 10% H2O/Air vapor for 16 hours without significant loss in activity. The SSZ-39 crystal structure remains intact during hydrothermal aging up to 1,000 ºC as we elucidate it with XRD and HAADF-STEM imaging/EDS mapping. However, changes to the framework during such harsh hydrothermal treatment significantly change the NOx release profiles during PNA as evidenced by high-field 27Al NMR on fresh and aged Pd/SSZ-39 samples as well as PNA performance measurements.
Besides PNA application, these hydrothermally very stable materials (3 wt% Pd on SSZ-39 with Si/Al ratio ~12) can be used as a robust methane combustion catalyst under industrially relevant conditions (GHSV~600,000hr-1). This catalyst shows minimal deactivation after both harsh hydrothermal aging at 750 and 800 ºC, and prolonged time on stream (105 hrs) at 425 ⁰C. In contrast, both 3wt% Pd/alumina and 3wt% SSZ-13 supported samples lose a significant portion of their activity.