Thermal activation and aging of a V2O5/WO3-TiO2 catalyst for the selective catalytic reduction of NO with NH3

Authors: Marberger, Adrian; Elsener, Martin; Nuguid, Rob Jeremiah G.; Ferri, Davide; Kröcher, Oliver

Real-world vanadium-based catalysts for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NO with NH3 are occasionally exposed to high temperatures, which can induce catalyst aging. In this work, a 2.0 wt% V2O5/WO3-TiO2 catalyst based on commercial WO3-TiO2 was lab aged in dry and wet feed at different time lengths and temperatures. Aging carried out in static atmosphere or in flow only marginally influenced its performance, while e.g. temperature and water in the feed heavily affected the SCR activity. The low temperature NOx conversion (≤300 °C) increased after aging up to 600 °C for 16 h and was more pronounced after hydrothermal aging compared to thermal aging, which was associated with the increased surface coverage of the SCR-active vanadyl groups. Measurements of vanadium volatility in the temperature range selected for the aging temperatures revealed the high mobility of V species induced by the (hydro-)thermal treatments. The onset of catalyst deactivation, observed at lower aging temperature for the hydrothermally aged catalyst compared to the thermally treated one, is possibly due to a larger amount of mobile V and W species and the concurrent loss of specific surface area. The set of catalytic and characterization data showed that water is an essential component in aging protocols because it heavily affects the structure and the resulting catalytic activity of the SCR catalyst. Removal of residual sulfate groups, which are present on the commercial support, also contributed to catalyst activation at 550°C aging temperature as a result of structural changes evidenced by surface area measurements and by IR and Raman spectroscopy, including rearrangement of V species and apparent increase of Lewis acidity.

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