CO oxidation is of great importance in both fundamental study and industrial application. Supported noble metal catalysts are highly active for CO oxidation but suffer from the scarcity and high cost. Single-atom catalysts (SACs) can maximize the metal atom efficiency. Herein, ZnO nanowire (ZnO-nw) supported Rh, Au, and Pt SACs were successfully developed to investigate their CO oxidation performance. Interestingly, it was found that Rh1/ZnO-nw showed much higher activity than the other noble metals which are usually regarded as good candidates for CO oxidation. In addition, the Rh SAC possessed high stability in high-temperature CO oxidation under simulated conditions in the presence of water and hydrocarbons. The high activity and stability make Rh1/ZnO-nw promising for practical applications, especially in the automotive exhaust emission control. Theoretical calculations indicate that the CO oxidation proceeds via the Mars-van Krevelen mechanism and the lowest barrier for the rate-limiting O2 dissociation at a surface oxygen vacancy site is a key factor in determining the observed highest activity of Rh1/ZnO-nw amongst the studied SACs.
- Carbon monoxide oxidation
- Density functional theory calculations
- Single-atom catalysis
- Zinc oxide nanowire
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