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Recycling of CO2: Probing the Chemical State of the Ni(111) Surface during the Methanation Reaction with Ambient-Pressure X‑Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-09-06, 00:00 authored by Christian Heine, Barbara A. J. Lechner, Hendrik Bluhm, Miquel Salmeron
Using ambient-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AP-XPS), we studied the adsorption and reactions of CO2 and CO2 + H2 on the Ni(111) surface to identify the surface chemical state and the nature of the adsorbed species during the methanation reaction. In 200 mTorr CO2, we found that NiO is formed from CO2 dissociation into CO and atomic oxygen. Additionally, carbonate (CO32–) is present on the surface from further reaction of CO2 with NiO. The addition of H2 into the reaction environment leads to reduction of NiO and the disappearance of CO32–. At temperatures >160 °C, CO adsorbed on hollow sites, and atomic carbon and OH species are present on the surface. We conclude that the methanation reaction proceeds via dissociation of CO2, followed by reduction of CO to atomic carbon and its hydrogenation to methane.