Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2019, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 327-336.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201803212

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

ZnO@ZIF-8 Core-Shell Structure as Host for Highly Selective and Stable Pd/ZnO Catalysts for Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol

Yazhi YIN,Bing HU,Guoliang LIU,Xiaohai ZHOU*(),Xinlin HONG*()   

  • Received:2018-02-26 Published:2018-08-28
  • Contact: Xiaohai ZHOU,Xinlin HONG;
  • Supported by:
    the National Science Foundation of China(21373153)


Catalytic CO2 hydrogenation to methanol is a promising route to mitigate the negative effects of anthropogenic CO2. To develop an efficient Pd/ZnO catalyst, increasing the contact between Pd and ZnO is of the utmost importance, because "naked" Pd favors CO production via the reverse water-gas shift path. Here, we have utilized a ZnO@ZIF-8 core-shell structure to synthesize Pd/ZnO catalysts via Pd immobilization and calcination. The merit of this method is that the porous outer layer can offer abundant "guest rooms" for Pd, ensuring intimate contact between Pd and the post-generated ZnO. The synthesized Pd/ZnO catalysts (PZZ8-T, T denotes the temperature of calcination in degree Celsius) is compared with a ZnO nanorod-immobilized Pd catalyst (PZ). When the catalytic reaction was performed at lower reaction temperatures (250, 270, and 290 ℃), the highest methanol space time yield (STY) and highest STY per Pd achieved by PZ at 290 ℃ were 0.465 g gcat-1 h-1 and 13.0 g gPd-1 h-1, respectively. However, all the PZZ8-T catalysts exhibited methanol selectivity values greater than 67.0% at 290 ℃, in sharp contrast to a methanol selectivity value of 32.8% for PZ at the same temperature. Thus, we performed additional investigations of the PZZ8-T catalysts at 310 and 360 ℃, which are unusually high temperatures for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol because the required endothermic reaction is expected to be severely inhibited at such high temperatures. Interestingly, the PZZ8-T catalysts were observed to achieve a methanol selectivity value of approximately 60% at 310 ℃, and PZZ8-400 was observed to maintain a methanol selectivity value of 51.9% even at a temperature of 360 ℃. Thus, PZZ8-400 attains the highest methanol STY of 0.571 g gcat-1 h-1at 310 ℃. For a better understanding of the structure-performance relationship, we characterized the catalysts using different techniques, focusing especially on the surface properties. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results indicated a linear relationship between the methanol selectivity and the surface PdZn : Pd ratio, proving that the surface PdZn phase is the active site for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol. Furthermore, analysis of the XPS O 1s spectrum together with the electronic paramagnetic resonance results revealed that both, the oxygen vacancy as well as the ZnO polar surface, played important roles in CO2 activation. Chemisorption techniques provided further quantitative and qualitative information regarding the Pd-ZnO interface that is closely related to the CO2 conversion rate. We believe that our results can provide insight into the catalytic reaction of CO2 hydrogenation from the perspective of surface science. In addition, this work is an illustrative example of the use of novel chemical structures in the fabrication of superior catalysts using a traditional formula.

Key words: ZnO@ZIF-8, PdZn alloy, Methanol synthesis, CO2 hydrogenation, Surface oxygen vacancy