A review of the effect of the addition of hydrogen in the selective catalytic reduction of NOx with hydrocarbons on silver catalysts

John Breen, Robbie Burch

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94 Citations (Scopus)


Research is progressing fast in the field of the hydrogen assisted hydrocarbon selective catalytic reduction (HC-SCR) over Ag-based catalysts: this paper is a review of the work to date in this area. The addition of hydrogen to the HC-SCR reaction feed over Ag/Al2O3 results in a remarkable improvement in NO (x) conversion using a variety of different hydrocarbon feeds. There is some debate concerning the role that hydrogen has to play in the reaction mechanism and its effect on the form of Ag present during the reaction. Many of the studies use in situ UV-Vis spectroscopy to monitor the form of Ag in the catalyst and appear to indicate that the addition of hydrogen promotes the formation of small Ag clusters which are highly reactive for NO (x) conversion. However, some authors have expressed concern about the use of this technique for these materials and further work is required to address these issues before this technique can be used to give an accurate assessment of the state of Ag during the SCR reaction. A study using in situ EXAFS to probe the H-2 assisted octane-SCR reaction has shown that small Ag particles (containing on average 3 silver atoms) are formed during the SCR reaction but that the addition of H-2 to the feed does not result in any further change in the Ag particle size. This points to the direct involvement of H-2 in the reaction mechanism. Clearly the addition of hydrogen results in a large increase in the number and variety of adsorbed species on the surface of the catalyst during the reaction. Some authors have suggested that conversion of cyanide to isocyanate is the rate-determining step and that hydrogen promotes this conversion. Others have suggested that hydrogen reduces nitrates to more reactive nitrite species which can then activate the hydrocarbon; activation of the hydrocarbon to form acetates has been proposed as the key step. It is probable that all these promotional effects can take place and that it very much depends on the reaction temperature and feed conditions as to which one is most important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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