A density functional theory study of methanol dehydrogenation over stepped Pt(2 1 1) surfaces without and with Ru modification was carried out to understand fuel catalytic reactions on Pt-based catalysts. Two main pathways of the CH3OH dehydrogenation were examined: the O–H pathway which was initiated by O–H bond scission to form the methoxy (CH3O) intermediate followed by sequential cleavage of C–H bonds to CO, and the C–H pathway which was initiated by C–H bond scission to form the hydroxymethyl (CH2OH) followed by two C–H bond cleavages to COH and then CO. Possible crossover reactions between the O–H and C–H pathways were also computed. Compared to flat Pt(1 1 1), stepped Pt(2 1 1) increases the adsorption energies of intermediates, making no significant contribution to decreasing the reaction barriers of most elementary steps involved, except in the first hydrogen scission. However, on the Ru-modified surface, a significant reduction was found in reaction barriers for the first step of the C–H bond scission and a number of further dehydrogenation steps crossing over to the O–H pathway, with the most facile paths identified. Our data reveals the complexity of methanol catalytic reaction processes at the atomic level and contributes to a fundamental understanding of fuel reactions on Pt-based catalysts.
Liu, B. Y., Jin, J. M., Lin, X., Hardacre, C., Hu, P., Ma, C. A., & Lin, W. F. (2015). The effects of stepped sites and ruthenium adatom decoration on methanol dehydrogenation over platinum-based catalyst surfaces. Catalysis Today, 242(Part A), 230-239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cattod.2014.08.012