Metal-Support Interactions and C1 Chemistry: Transforming Pt-CeO2 into a Highly Active and Stable Catalyst for the Conversion of Carbon Dioxide and Methane


There is an ongoing search for materials which can accomplish the activation of two dangerous greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. In the area of C1 chemistry, the reaction between CO2 and CH4 to produce syngas, known as methane dry reforming (MDR), is attracting a lot of interest due to its green nature. On Pt(111), elevated temperatures are necessary to activate the reactants and massive deposition of carbon makes this metal surface ineffective for the MDR process. In this study, we show that strong metal-support interactions present in Pt/CeO2(111) and Pt/CeO2 powders lead to systems which can bind well CO2 and CH4 at room temperature and are excellent and stable catalysts for the MDR process at moderate temperature (500 ºC). The behaviour of these systems was studied using a combination of in-situ/operando methods which pointed to an active Pt-CeO2-x interface. In this interface, the oxide is far from being a passive spectator. It modifies the chemical properties of Pt, facilitating improved methane dissociation, and is directly involved in the adsorption and dissociation of CO2 making the MDR catalytic cycle possible. A comparison of the benefits gained by the use of an effective metal-oxide interface and those obtained by plain bimetallic bonding indicates that the former is much more important when optimizing the C1 chemistry associated with CO2 and CH4 conversion. The presence of elements with a different chemical nature at the metal-oxide interface opens the possibility for truly cooperative interactions in the activation of C-O and C-H bonds.


Supplementary material

MDR PtCeO2 figures
SupportingInformation PtCeO2 MDR final