Real-time elucidation of catalytic pathways in CO hydrogenation on Ru

Jerry LaRue, Ondrej Krejci, Liang Yu, Martin Beye, May Ling Ng, Henrik Oberg, Hongliang Xin, Giuseppe Mercurio, Joshua J Turner, Dennis Nordlund, Ryan Coffee, Michael P Minitti, Wilfried Wurth, Lars GM Pettersson, Henrik Ostrom, Anders Nilsson, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Hirohito Ogasawara
Year of publication: 
The journal of physical chemistry letters

The direct elucidation of the reaction pathways in heterogeneous catalysis has been challenging due to the short-lived nature of reaction intermediates. Here, we directly measured on ultrafast time scales the initial hydrogenation steps of adsorbed CO on a Ru catalyst surface, which is known as the bottleneck reaction in syngas and CO2 reforming processes. We initiated the hydrogenation of CO with an ultrafast laser temperature jump and probed transient changes in the electronic structure using real-time X-ray spectroscopy. In combination with theoretical simulations, we verified the formation of CHO during CO hydrogenation.

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