The water gas shift (WGS) is an equilibrium exothermic reaction, whose corresponding industrial process is normally carried out in two adiabatic stages, to overcome the thermodynamic and kinetic limitations. The high temperature stage makes use of iron/chromium-based catalysts, while the low temperature stage employs copper/zinc-based catalysts. Nevertheless, both these systems have several problems, mainly dealing with safety issues and process efficiency. Accordingly, in the last decade abundant researches have been focused on the study of alternative catalytic systems. The best performances have been obtained with noble metal-based catalysts, among which, platinum-based formulations showed a good compromise between performance and ease of preparation. These catalytic systems are extremely attractive, as they have numerous advantages, including the feasibility of intermediate temperature (250–400 °C) applications, the absence of pyrophoricity, and the high activity even at low loadings. The particle size plays a crucial role in determining their catalytic activity, enhancing the performance of the nanometric catalytic systems: the best activity and stability was reported for particle sizes < 1.7 nm. Moreover the optimal Pt loading seems to be located near 1 wt%, as well as the optimal Pt coverage was identified in 0.25 ML. Kinetics and mechanisms studies highlighted the low energy activation of Pt/Mo2
C-based catalytic systems (Ea of 38 kJ·mol−1
), the associative mechanism is the most encountered on the investigated studies. This review focuses on a selection of recent published articles, related to the preparation and use of unstructured platinum-based catalysts in water gas shift reaction, and is organized in five main sections: comparative studies, kinetics, reaction mechanisms, sour WGS and electrochemical promotion. Each section is divided in paragraphs, at the end of the section a summary and a summary table are provided.
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