ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. – Gabriele Deplano, Matteo Signorile, Valentina Crocellà, Natale Gabriele Porcaro, Cesare Atzori, Bjørn Gading Solemsli, Stian Svelle, and Silvia Bordiga
Cu-exchanged zeolites are widely studied materials because of their importance in industrial energetic and environmental processes. Cu redox speciation lies at the center of many of these processes but is experimentally difficult to investigate in a quantitative manner with regular laboratory equipment. This work presents a novel technique for this purpose that exploits the selective adsorption of CO over accessible Cu(I) sites to quantify them. In particular, isothermal volumetric adsorption measurements are performed at 50 °C on a series of opportunely pre-reduced Cu-ZSM-5 to assess the relative fraction of Cu(I); the setup is fairly simple and only requires a regular volumetric adsorption apparatus to perform the actual measurement. Repeatability tests are carried out on the measurement and activation protocols to assess the precision of the technique, and the relative standard deviation (RSD) obtained is less than 5%. Based on the results obtained for these materials, the same CO adsorption protocol is studied for the sample using infrared spectroscopy, and a good correlation is found between the results of the volumetric measurements and the absorbance of the peak assigned to the Cu(I)–CO adducts. A linear model is built for this correlation, and the molar attenuation coefficient is obtained, allowing for spectrophotometric quantification. The good sensitivity of the spectrophotometric approach and the precision and simplicity of the volumetric approach form a complementary set of tools to quantitatively study Cu redox speciation in these materials at the laboratory scale, allowing for a wide range of Cu compositions to be accurately investigated.
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