When using bifunctional core@shell catalysts, the stability of both the shell and core-shell interface is crucial for catalytic applications. In the present study, we elucidate the stability of a CuO/ZnO/Al2O3@ZSM-5 core@shell material, used for one-stage synthesis of dimethyl ether from synthesis gas. The catalyst stability was studied in a hierarchical manner by complementary environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and in situ hard X-ray ptychography with a specially designed in situ cell. Both reductive activation and reoxidation were applied. The core-shell interface was found to be stable during reducing and oxidizing treatment at 250°C as observed by ETEM and in situ X-ray ptychography, although strong changes occurred in the core on a 10 nm scale due to the reduction of copper oxide to metallic copper particles. At 350°C, in situ X-ray ptychography indicated the occurrence of structural changes also on the µm scale, i.e. the core material and parts of the shell undergo restructuring. Nevertheless, the crucial core-shell interface required for full bifunctionality appeared to remain stable. This study demonstrates the potential of these correlative in situ microscopy techniques for hierarchically designed catalysts.
- X-ray microscopy
- Core–shell catalyst
- Correlative imaging
- Dimethyl ether
Baier, S., Damsgaard, C. D.
, Klumpp, M., Reinhardt, J., Sheppard, T., Balogh, Z. I., ... Grunwaldt, J-D. (2017). Stability of a Bifunctional Cu-Based Core@Zeolite Shell Catalyst for Dimethyl Ether Synthesis Under Redox Conditions Studied by Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy and In Situ X-Ray Ptychography
. Microscopy and Microanalysis
(3), 501-512. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1431927617000332