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CeO2-based catalysts with engineered morphologies for soot oxidation to enhance soot-catalyst contact

Paolo Miceli, Samir Bensaid, Nunzio Russo and Debora Fino*

Author Affiliations

Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino 10129, Italy

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:254  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-254

Published: 23 May 2014


As morphology plays a relevant role in solid/solid catalysis, where the number of contact points is a critical feature in this kind of reaction, three different ceria morphologies have been investigated in this work as soot oxidation catalysts: ceria nanofibers, which can become organized as a catalytic network inside diesel particulate filter channels and thus trap soot particles at several contact points but have a very low specific surface area (4 m2/g); solution combustion synthesis ceria, which has an uncontrolled morphology but a specific surface area of 31 m2/g; and three-dimensional self-assembled (SA) ceria stars, which have both high specific surface area (105 m2/g) and a high availability of contact points. A high microporous volume of 0.03 cm3/g and a finer crystallite size compared to the other morphologies suggested that self-assembled stars could improve their redox cycling capability and their soot oxidation properties. In this comparison, self-assembled stars have shown the best tendency towards soot oxidation, and the temperature of non-catalytic soot oxidation has dropped from 614°C to 403°C in tight and to 552°C in loose contact conditions, respectively. As far as the loose contact results are concerned, this condition being the most realistic and hence the most significant, self-assembled stars have exhibited the lowest T10% onset temperature of this trio (even after ageing), thus proving their higher intrinsic activity. Furthermore, the three-dimensional shape of self-assembled stars may involve more of the soot cake layer than the solution combustion synthesis or nanofibers of ceria and thus enhance the total number of contact points. The results obtained through this work have encouraged our efforts to understand soot oxidation and to transpose these results to real diesel particulate filters.

Soot oxidation; Diesel particulate filter; Ceria; Catalyst morphology