On the Kinetic Interpretation of DFT-Derived Energy Profiles: Cu-Catalyzed Methanol Synthesis
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A mean field microkinetic evaluation of previously reported DFT-derived Gibbs free energy profiles for CO and CO2 hydrogenation to methanol on Cu(111), Cu(211) and Zn-modified Cu(211) is presented. It is demonstrated that explicit consideration of the effect of surface coverages of reaction intermediates on rates is needed in order to arrive at a realistic evaluation of the activity and selectivity. In particular, both the methanol formation rate and the CO/CO2 selectivity for methanol production are demonstrated to be highly sensitive to the saturation coverage of formate at steady state. In general, the study emphasises the importance of including explicit kinetic analyses when mechanistic DFT-derived energy profiles are interpreted for catalytic processes.
KeywordsMethanol synthesis DFT Copper Microkinetic analysis Mechanism
Prof Eric van Steen (University of Cape Town) is acknowledged for his inputs and proof reading of the manuscript.
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