P. Cnudde

Mobility and Reactivity of Cu+ Species in Cu-CHA Catalysts under NH3-SCR-NOx Reaction Conditions: Insights from AIMD Simulations

R. Millan, P. Cnudde, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Boronat
JACS Au (Journal of the American Chemical Society)
2021
A1

Abstract 

The mobility of the copper cations acting as active sites for the selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides with ammonia in Cu-CHA catalysts varies with temperature and feed composition. Herein, the migration of [Cu(NH3)2]+ complexes between two adjacent cavities of the chabazite structure, including other reactant molecules (NO, O2, H2O, and NH3), in the initial and final cavities is investigated using ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations combined with enhanced sampling techniques to describe hopping events from one cage to the other. We find that such diffusion is only significantly hindered by the presence of excess NH3 or NO in the initial cavity, since both reactants form with [Cu(NH3)2]+ stable intermediates which are too bulky to cross the 8-ring windows connecting the cavities. The presence of O2 modifies strongly the interaction of NO with Cu+. At low temperatures, we observe NO detachment from Cu+ and increased mobility of the [Cu(NH3)2]+ complex, while at high temperatures, NO reacts spontaneously with O2 to form NO2. The present simulations give evidence for recent experimental observations, namely, an NH3 inhibition effect on the SCR reaction at low temperatures, and transport limitations of NO and NH3 at high temperatures. Our first principle simulations mimicking operating conditions support the existence of two different reaction mechanisms operating at low and high temperatures, the former involving dimeric Cu(NH3)2-O2-Cu(NH3)2 species and the latter occurring by direct NO oxidation to NO2 in one single cavity.

Coordination and activation of nitrous oxide by iron zeolites

M.L. Bols, B.E.R. Snyder, H.M. Rhoda, P. Cnudde, G. Fayad, R.A. Schoonheydt, V. Van Speybroeck, E.I. Solomon, B. F. Sels
Nature Catalysis
4, 332-340
2021
A1

Abstract 

Iron-containing zeolites are heterogeneous catalysts that exhibit remarkable activity in the selective oxidation of inert hydrocarbons and catalytic decomposition of nitrous oxide (N2O). The reduction of N2O is critical to both these functions, but experimental data tracking the iron active sites during N2O binding and activation are limited. Here, the N2O-ligated Fe(ii) active site in iron-exchanged zeolite beta is isolated and characterized by variable-temperature Mössbauer, diffuse reflectance UV-vis-NIR and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. N2O binds through the terminal nitrogen atom with substantial backbonding from the Fe(ii) centre at low temperature. At higher temperatures, the Fe–N2O interaction is weakened, facilitating isomerization to the O-bound form, which is competent in O-atom transfer. Density functional theory calculations show the geometric and electronic structure requirements for N2O binding and activation. A geometric distortion imposed by the zeolite lattice plays an important role in activating N2O. This highlights a mechanism for structural control over function in Fe-zeolite catalysts.

Experimental and theoretical evidence for promotional effect of acid sites on the diffusion of alkenes through small-pore zeolites

P. Cnudde, E. A. Redekop, W. Dai, N.G. Porcaro, M. Waroquier, S. Bordiga, M. Hunger, L. Li, U. Olsbye, V. Van Speybroeck
Angewandte Chemie int. Ed.
133, 2-9
2021
A1

Abstract 

The diffusion of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons is of fundamental importance for many zeolite‐catalyzed processes. Transport of small alkenes in the confined pores of narrow pore zeolites can become hindered, resulting in a significant impact on the ultimate product selectivity and separation. Herein, intracrystalline light olefin/paraffin diffusion through the 8‐ring windows of zeolite SAPO‐34 is characterized by a complementary set of first‐principle molecular dynamics simulations, PFG‐NMR experiments and pulse‐response Temporal Analysis of Products measurements, yielding information at different length and time scales. Our results clearly show a promotional effect of the presence of Brønsted acid sites on the diffusion rate of ethene and propene, whereas transport of alkanes is found to be insensitive to the presence of acid sites. The enhanced diffusivity of unsaturated hydrocarbons is ascribed to the formation of favorable π‐H interactions with acid protons, as confirmed by IR spectroscopy measurements. The acid site distribution is proven to be an important design parameter for optimizing product distributions and separations.

Theoretical and Spectroscopic Evidence of the Dynamic Nature of Copper Active Sites in Cu-CHA Catalysts under Selective Catalytic Reduction (NH3–SCR–NOx) Conditions

R. Millan, P. Cnudde, A.E.J. Hoffman, C.W. Lopes, P. Concepcion, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Boronat
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
11, 23, 10060-10066
2020
A1

Abstract 

The dynamic nature of the copper cations acting as active sites for selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides with ammonia is investigated using a combined theoretical and spectroscopic approach. Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of Cu-CHA catalysts in contact with reactants and intermediates at realistic operating conditions show that only ammonia is able to release Cu+ and Cu2+ cations from their positions coordinated to the zeolite framework, forming mobile Cu+(NH3)2 and Cu2+(NH3)4 complexes that migrate to the center of the cavity. Herein, we give evidence that such mobilization of copper cations modifies the vibrational fingerprint in the 800–1000 cm–1 region of the IR spectra. Bands associated with the lattice asymmetric T-O-T vibrations are perturbed by the presence of coordinated cations, and allow one to experimentally follow the dynamic reorganization of the active sites at operating conditions.

Mechanistic insight into the framework methylation ofH-ZSM-5 for varying methanol loading and Si/Al ratiousing first principles molecular dynamics simulations

S. A. F. Nastase, P. Cnudde, L. Vanduyfhuys, K. De Wispelaere, V. Van Speybroeck, C.R.A. Catlow, A. J. Logsdail
ACS Catalysis
10, 15, 8904-8915
2020
A1
Gold Open Access

Cation−π Interactions Accelerate the Living Cationic Ring-Opening Polymerization of Unsaturated 2-Alkyl-2-oxazolines

E. Van den Broeck, B. Verbraeken, K. Dedecker, P. Cnudde, L. Vanduyfhuys, T. Verstraelen, K. Van Hecke, V. V. Jerca, S. Catak, R. Hoogenboom, V. Van Speybroeck
Macromolecules
53, 10, 3832-3846
2020
A1

Abstract 

Cation–dipole interactions were previously shown to have a rate-enhancing effect on the cationic ring-opening polymerization (CROP) of 2-oxazolines bearing a side-chain ester functionality. In line with this, a similar rate enhancement—via intermolecular cation−π interactions—was anticipated to occur when π-bonds are introduced into the 2-oxazoline side-chains. Moreover, the incorporation of π-bonds allows for facile postfunctionalization of the resulting poly(2-oxazoline)s with double and triple bonds in the side-chains via various click reactions. Herein, a combined molecular modeling and experimental approach was used to study the CROP reaction rates of 2-oxazolines with side-chains having varying degrees of unsaturation and side-chain length. The presence of cation−π interactions and the influence of the degree of unsaturation were initially confirmed by means of regular molecular dynamics simulations on pentameric systems. Furthermore, a combination of enhanced molecular dynamics simulations, static calculations, and a thorough analysis of the noncovalent interactions was performed to unravel to what extent cation−π interactions alter the reaction kinetics. Additionally, the observed trends were confirmed also in the presence of acetonitrile as solvent, in which experimentally the polymerization is performed. Most intriguingly, we found only a limited effect on the intrinsic reaction kinetics of the CROP and a preorganization effect in the reactive complex region. The latter effect was established by the unsaturated side-chains and the cationic center through a complex interplay between cation−π, π–π, π–induced dipole, and cation–dipole interactions. These findings led us to propose a two-step mechanism comprised of an equilibration step and a CROP reaction step. The influence of the degree of unsaturation, through a preorganization effect, on the equilibration step was determined with the following trend for the polymerization rates: n-ButylOx < ButenOx < ButynOx ≥ PentynOx. The trend was experimentally confirmed by determining the polymerization rate constants.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Ab initio enhanced sampling kinetic study on MTO ethene methylation reaction

S. Bailleul, K. Dedecker, P. Cnudde, L. Vanduyfhuys, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Catalysis
388, 38-51
2020
A1

Abstract 

The methylation reaction of ethene with methanol over the Brønsted acidic ZSM-5 catalyst is one of theprototype reactions within zeolite catalysis for which experimental kinetic data is available. It is one ofthe premier reactions within the methanol-to-olefins process and has been the subject of extensive the-oretical testing to predict the reaction rates. Herein, we apply, for the first time, first principle moleculardynamics methods to determine the intrinsic reaction kinetics taking into account the full configurationalentropy. As chemical reactions are rare events, enhanced sampling methods are necessary to obtain suf-ficient sampling of the configurational space at the activated region. A plethora of methods is availablewhich depend on specific choices like the selection of collective variables along which the dynamics isenhanced. Herein, a thorough first principle molecular dynamics study is presented to determine thereaction kinetics via various enhanced MD techniques on an exemplary reaction within zeolite catalysisfor which reference theoretical and experimental data are available.

Green Open Access

Light Olefin Diffusion during the MTO Process on H-SAPO-34: a Complex Interplay of Molecular Factors

P. Cnudde, R. Demuynck, S. Vandenbrande, M. Waroquier, G. Sastre, V. Van Speybroeck
JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society)
142 (13), 6007-6017
2020
A1

Abstract 

The methanol-to-olefins process over H-SAPO-34 is characterized by its high shape selectivity toward light olefins. The catalyst is a supramolecular system consisting of nanometer-sized inorganic cages, decorated by Brønsted acid sites, in which organic compounds, mostly methylated benzene species, are trapped. These hydrocarbon pool species are essential to catalyze the methanol conversion but may also clog the pores. As such, diffusion of ethene and propene plays an essential role in determining the ultimate product selectivity. Enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations based on either force fields or density functional theory are used to determine how molecular factors influence the diffusion of light olefins through the 8-ring windows of H-SAPO-34. Our simulations show that diffusion through the 8-ring in general is a hindered process, corresponding to a hopping event of the diffusing molecule between neighboring cages. The loading of different methanol, alkene, and aromatic species in the cages may substantially slow down or facilitate the diffusion process. The presence of Brønsted acid sites in the 8-ring enhances the diffusion process due to the formation of a favorable π-complex host–guest interaction. Aromatic hydrocarbon pool species severely hinder the diffusion and their spatial distribution in the zeolite crystal may have a significant effect on the product selectivity. Herein, we unveil how molecular factors influence the diffusion of light olefins in a complex environment with confined hydrocarbon pool species, high olefin loadings, and the presence of acid sites by means of enhanced molecular dynamics simulations under operating conditions.

Effect of zeolite topology and reactor configuration on the direct conversion of CO2 to light olefins and aromatics

A. Ramirez Galilea, A. Dutta Chowdhury, A. Dokania, P. Cnudde, M. Caglayan, I. Yarulina, E. Abou-Hamad, L. Gevers, S. Ould-Chikh, K. De Wispelaere, V. Van Speybroeck, J. Gascon
ACS Catalysis
9, 6320-6334
2019
A1

How chain length and branching influence the alkene cracking reactivity on H-ZSM-5

P. Cnudde, K. De Wispelaere, L. Vanduyfhuys, R. Demuynck, J. Van der Mynsbrugge, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
ACS Catalysis
8, 9579 − 9595
2018
A1

Abstract 

Catalytic alkene cracking on H-ZSM-5 involves a complex reaction network with many possible reaction routes and often elusive intermediates. Herein, advanced molecular dynamics simulations at 773 K, a typical cracking temperature, are performed to clarify the nature of the intermediates and to elucidate dominant cracking pathways at operating conditions. A series of C4-C8 alkene intermediates are investigated to evaluate the influence of chain length and degree of branching on their stability. Our simulations reveal that linear, secondary carbenium ions are relatively unstable, although their lifetime increases with carbon number. Tertiary carbenium ions, on the other hand, are shown to be very stable, irrespective of the chain length. Highly branched carbenium ions, though, tend to rapidly rearrange into more stable cationic species, either via cracking or isomerization reactions. Dominant cracking pathways were determined by combining these insights on carbenium ion stability with intrinsic free energy barriers for various octene β-scission reactions, determined via umbrella sampling simulations at operating temperature (773 K). Cracking modes A (3° → 3°) and B2 (3° → 2°) are expected to be dominant at operating conditions, whereas modes B1 (2° → 3°), C (2° → 2°), D2 (2° → 1°) and E2 (3° → 1°) are expected to be less important. All β-scission modes in which a transition state with primary carbocation character is involved have high intrinsic free energy barriers. Reactions starting from secondary carbenium ions will contribute less as these intermediates are short living at the high cracking temperature. Our results show the importance of simulations at operating conditions to properly evaluate the carbenium ion stability for β-scission reactions and to assess the mobility of all species in the pores of the zeolite.

Open Access version available at UGent repository
Gold Open Access

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - P. Cnudde