PdO self-assembly on zeolite SSZ-13 with rows of O3Al(IV)OH selectively incorporated in PdO(101) facets for moisture-resistant methane oxidation



We describe an efficient way to prepare moisture-tolerant methane (hydrocarbon) combustion catalysts based on PdO nanoparticles supported on siliceous SSZ-13 zeolite. Only zeolites with high Si/Al ratios >15 are hydrophobic enough to exclude the Pd from the micropores while forming well-faceted PdO nanoparticles. Simultaneously, during self-assembly mobile Al hydroxo species get incorporated into the as-formed PdO nanoparticles. For the first time, we reveal selective incorporation of rows of O3Al(IV)-OHbridging aluminum hydroxo-species into the (101) facets of PdO nanoparticles that form during thermal self-assembly in Pd/SSZ-13 using state-of-the-art atomically-resolved HAADF-STEM imaging, solid-state NMR, DFT calculations and reactivity measurements. The Al+3-OH moieties form atom-thin rows in place of tri-coordinate Pd ions Pd+2 in Pd1O3 on (101) facets: these tri-coordinate Pd1+2O3 are responsible for C-H bond dissociation of methane and hydrocarbons during catalytic methane oxidation. However, on unmodified or non-zeolite supported PdO nanoparticles in the presence of water vapor from engine exhaust, water competes with methane by forming a deactivated Pdtetra(OH)(H2O)Pdtetra site with two water molecules on contiguous 3-coordinate Pd, which is not active for C-H bond activation. When Al-OH moieties are present in place of some tri-coordinate Pd1O3 sites, water dissociation becomes kinetically unfavorable due to disruption of Pdtetra(OH)(H2O)Pdtetra species formation. Consequently, our catalytic measurements reveal a significantly more stable performance of such catalysts in methane combustion in the presence of water vapor. Our findings provide an unprecedented atomic-level insight into structure-property relationships for supported PdO materials in catalytic methane oxidation and offer a new strategy to prepare moisture-tolerant Pd-containing methane combustion catalysts for green-house gas mitigation by selectively doping atomically thin rows of non-precious metal into specific facets of PdO.


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