Selective Catalytic Reduction of NOx by NH3 (NH3-SCR) in Small Pore Cu-exchanged Chabazite (CHA) Catalysts
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Nitrogen oxides, NOx (NO+NO2), are considered significant air pollutants. Selective catalytic reduction of NOx with NH3 (NH3-SCR) is a leading technology candidate for NOx emissions control for diesel engine vehicles. Recently, the Cu-exchanged chabazite framework type zeolite with small pores, such as SAPO-34 and SSZ-13, has received a great deal of attention due to exceptional hydrothermal durability and enhanced SCR activity. I have carried out a systematic study over both Cu-SAPO-34 and Cu-SSZ-13 catalysts to elucidate the reaction mechanisms, acid properties, Cu structures, active centers and deactivation modes. First, the intrinsic mechanism of the SCR reaction over a Cu-exchanged SAPO-34 catalyst at low temperature was studied by in-situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS), coupled with a mass spectrometer to measure inlet and outlet gas concentrations. The evolution of the surface intermediates, as well as the reactivity of NH3 with surface NOx species and NOx with surface NH3 species, was evaluated. Second, a series of SAPO-34 catalysts with various Cu loadings (ranging 0.7-3.0 wt%) was prepared by a solid state ion exchange method (SSIE). The acid properties as well as the Cu structures were characterized by XRD, NH3-TPD, UV-vis, DRIFTS and H2-TPR. Third, a SSIE method was developed to synthesize Cu-SSZ-13 catalysts with excellent NH3-SCR performance and durable hydrothermal stability. After the SSIE process, the SSZ framework structure and surface area was maintained. DRIFTS and NH3-TPD experiments provide evidence that Cu ions were successfully exchanged with Brønsted acid protons in the pores. Fourth, the hydrothermal stability of Cu-SAPO-34 and Cu-SSZ-13 was studied. Their different evolutions of zeolite framework, acidity and Cu structure during the hydrothermal aging were probed by XRD, DRIFTS and NH3-TPD. The results suggest that Cu-SAPO-34 is more resistant to hydrothermal aging in comparison to Cu-SSZ-13. Last, the SO2 poisoning effect over Cu-SAPO-34 catalyst was investigated by using in-situ DRIFTS combined with temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments. It was found that the low temperature deactivation mechanism involved the formation of ammonium sulfate species as well as the competitive adsorption SO2 with NOx.