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What makes Fe-modified MgAl2O4 an active catalyst support? : Insight from X-ray Raman scattering

  • Longo, Alessandro
  • Theofanidis, Stavros-Alexandros
  • Cavallari, Chiara
  • Hu, Jiawei
  • Poelman, Hilde
  • Sabbe, Maarten
  • Sahle, Christoph J.
  • Marin, Guy
  • Galvita, Vladimir
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.0c00759
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Fe-modified MgAl2O4 makes a surprisingly active catalyst support, likely linked to a structural effect of the Fe incorporation. Two catalyst supports, MgAl(2)O(4 )and MgAl2O4, have been studied in fresh and reduced state to determine the effect of high-temperature H-2 reduction upon ion distribution in the lattices. To this end, an X-ray Raman scattering study has been performed, focusing on the oxygen K edge and magnesium and aluminum L-2,L-3 and iron M(2,3 )soft edges. MgAl(2)O(4 )shows a random cation distribution and only small changes occur at the Mg L-2,L-3 and Al L-2,L-3 edges upon reduction at 1073 K. The main oxygen signal does lose intensity and its simulation points to a lower O covalency and more confined state after reduction. Introducing 8.9 wt % Fe into the spinel pushes Mg towards mostly tetrahedral position in the MgAl2O4 lattice, whereas Fe and Al share the octahedral sites. Concomitant lattice distortion is observable in the O signal. Reduction of MgAl2O4 leads to enhanced distortion visible in the O and Al signals and the presence of 50% Fe2+. Both disorder and reduction lead to partial segregation of MgFeOx from the MgAl2O4 lattice. This combination of distortion and phase restructuring in the Fe-modified MgAl2O4 material facilitates the lattice oxygen mobility and hence its catalytic activity.

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