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Physical Sciences Division
Staff Awards & Honors

June 2014

Heat Treatment of Copper-based Zeolite Catalysts Is a Hot Topic

Material drives reactions that destroy nitrogen oxides in vehicle emissions


Congratulations to our team at PNNL's Institute for Integrated Catalysis on being highly cited authors in the Journal of Catalysis for their work on how very high temperatures change the reactivity of certain copper-containing zeolite catalysts. Enlarge Image.
Congratulations to Ja Hun Kwak, Diana Tran, Sarah Burton, Janos Szanyi, Jong Lee, and Chuck Peden at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Institute for Integrated Catalysis on being highly cited authors in the Journal of Catalysis. The Elsevier-published journal just released the most cited authors for 2012-2013. This team made the list for their article on how very high temperatures change the reactivity of certain copper-containing zeolite catalysts. The materials' ability to selectively turn nitrogen oxides into benign di-nitrogen gas in cooler engine exhaust systems makes them of interest.


The 6-page article discusses the results of hydrothermally treating three catalysts: Cu-ZSM-5, Cu-beta, and Cu-SSZ-13. The first two were significantly less active at low temperatures after the thermal treatment. The third catalyst was not affected. The scientists also determined aluminum placement, which is directly related to activity, in the three catalysts. More than 40 other articles have cited the research since its publication in 2012.

The research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy/Vehicle Technologies Program. The research described in this paper was performed at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a national scientific user facility sponsored by the DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Reference: Kwak JH, D Tran, SD Burton, J Szanyi, JH Lee, and CHF Peden. 2012. "Effects of Hydrothermal Aging on NH3-SCR Reaction over Cu/Zeolites." Journal of Catalysis 287:203-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2011.12.025


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