Pd3Ag(111) as a Model System for Hydrogen Separation Membranes: Combined Effects of CO Adsorption and Surface Termination on the Activation of Molecular Hydrogen
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonTopics in catalysis. 2020, 63 (7-8), 750-761. 10.1007/s11244-020-01246-7
The co-adsorption of hydrogen and carbon monoxide on Pd3Ag(111) alloy surfaces has been studied as a model system for Pd-Ag alloys in membrane and catalysis applications using periodic density functional theory calculations (PW91-GGA). We explored the effects of Pd–Ag surface composition, since segregation of silver towards and away from the surface has been suggested to explain the experimentally observed changes in H2 activation, CO inhibition and reactivity. We found that CO pre-adsorbed on the surface weakens the adsorption of H on Pd3Ag(111) alloy surfaces irrespective of whether the surface termination corresponds to the bulk Pd3Ag composition, or is purely Pd-terminated. A higher coverage of H with CO present is obtained for the Pd-terminated surface; this surface also exhibits a larger range of chemical potentials for co-adsorbed hydrogen and CO. The barrier for H2 activation increases with increasing CO coverage, but the surface composition has the largest impact on H2 activation at intermediate CO coverage. The results imply that Pd-based membranes with typically ~ 23 wt% Ag are less prone to CO poisoning if the surface becomes Pd-terminated.