Regensburg 2022 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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O: Fachverband Oberflächenphysik

O 3: Focus Session: Single Atom Catalysis 1

O 3.4: Vortrag

Montag, 5. September 2022, 11:30–11:45, H4

Methane Activation by Free Tantalum Cluster Cations: When the Atomic System is Different — •Martin Tschurl, Jan Eckhard, and Ueli Heiz — Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Catalysis Research Center, Technical University of Munich

The efficient conversion of methane into valuable chemicals represents a challenge in chemistry in general. It also carries the potential of becoming a key technological process, given the availability of the substance from fossil, as well as agricultural, sources. Despite decades of research, only steam reforming is used today on commercially relevant scales. Nevertheless, the interest in the topic remains steadily strong, in particular in heterogeneous catalysis. Studies of ion-molecule reactions have already provided substantial contributions to the field and enabled the identification of fundamental reaction pathways and key properties governing them. We use of this approach in order to reveal pathways and reaction kinetics in the C-H bond activation in methane. This way, we comprehensively elucidate the size-dependent reactivity of different cluster cations of tantalum - a metal, which has already been noted as a prospective candidate in the activation of C-H bonds. One of our main finding, in the combined experimental and theoretical study, reveals a significant difference in the reaction of single atoms compared to that of larger clusters. The single atom is the only size that facilitates an often-desired C-C coupling, which further suggests a possible intrinsic benefit of single atoms over clusters in the catalytic conversion of methane.

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