Author(s): Gokhale AA, Dumesic JA, Mavrikakis M
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Abstract Periodic, self-consistent density functional theory (DFT-GGA) calculations are used to investigate the water gas shift reaction (WGSR) mechanism on Cu(111). The thermochemistry and activation energy barriers for all the elementary steps of the commonly accepted redox mechanism, involving complete water activation to atomic oxygen, are presented. Through our calculations, we identify carboxyl, a new reactive intermediate, which plays a central role in WGSR on Cu(111). The thermochemistry and activation energy barriers of the elementary steps of a new reaction path, involving carboxyl, are studied. A detailed DFT-based microkinetic model of experimental reaction rates, accounting for both the previous and the new WGSR mechanism show that, under relevant experimental conditions, (1) the carboxyl-mediated route is the dominant path, and (2) the initial hydrogen abstraction from water is the rate-limiting step. Formate is a stable "spectator" species, formed predominantly through CO2 hydrogenation. In addition, the microkinetic model allows for predictions of (i) surface coverage of intermediates, (ii) WGSR apparent activation energy, and (iii) reaction orders with respect to CO, H2O, CO2, and H2.
This article was published in J Am Chem Soc
and referenced in Journal of Theoretical and Computational Science