High performance nanohybrid catalysts for methane oxidation
Methane is attractive to use as a fuel compared to conventional coal and oil due to its high hydrogen to carbon ratio and therefore lower greenhouse emissions. In order to complete methane oxidation a catalyst is often needed. Traditionally noble metal catalysts are employed, however, their high cost and low thermal stability leaves much room for improvement. Such improvements came at the hands of researchers from Partcat group and the Integrated Materials Design Centre at UNSW Sydney.
By using a new type nanoscale architecture and utilizing a promising class of oxides known as perovskites, researchers were able to create fragmented three-dimensionally ordered macro porous La0.6Sr0.4MnO3 known as 3D-hm LSMO which showed superior capabilities at completing the full cycle of methane oxidation. These controlled fragmentation exposed active regions of the macro porous particles leading to excellent catalytic activities. Computer simulations provided an additional support by asserting that the large surface area of the exposed (001) do indeed provide reduced energy barriers for the hydrogen dissociation from the methane molecule compared to the (110) surfaces, which is a prerequisite for an efficient oxidation process.
The research was reported in Nature Communications:
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