Lean nitric oxide (NOx)-trap (LNT) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) are efficient systems for the abatement of NOx. The combination of LNT and SCR catalysts improves overall NOx removal, but there is a risk that the SCR catalyst will be exposed to high temperatures and rich exhaust during the LNTs sulfur regeneration. Therefore, the effect of exposure to various rich conditions and temperatures on the subsequent SCR activity of a Cu-exchanged chabazite catalyst was studied. CO, H2, C3H6, and the combination of CO + H2 were used to simulate rich conditions. Aging was performed at 800 °C, 700 °C, and, in the case of CO, 600 °C, in a plug-flow reactor. Investigation of the nature of Cu sites was performed with NH3-temperature-programed desorption (TPD) and diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFT) of probe molecules (NH3 and NO). The combination of CO and H2 was especially detrimental to SCR activity and to NH3 oxidation. Rich aging with low reductant concentrations resulted in a significantly larger deactivation compared to lean conditions. Aging in CO at 800 °C caused SCR deactivation but promoted high-temperature NH3 oxidation. Rich conditions greatly enhanced the loss of Brønsted and Lewis acid sites at 800 °C, indicating dealumination and Cu migration. However, at 700 °C, mainly Brønsted sites disappeared during aging. DRIFT spectroscopy analysis revealed that CO aging modified the Cu2+/CuOH+ ratio in favor of the monovalent CuOH+ species, as opposed to lean aging. To summarize, we propose that the reason for the increased deactivation observed for mild rich conditions is the transformation of the Cu species from Z2Cu to ZCuOH, possibly in combination with the formation of Cu clusters.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited