Utilization of the three-dimensional volcano surface to understand the chemistry of multiphase systems in heterogeneous catalysis

Jun Cheng, P. Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


CO hydrogenation is used as a model system to understand why multiphase catalysts are chemically important in heterogeneous catalysis. By including both adsorption and subsequent surface reactions, kinetic equations are derived with two fundamental properties, the chemisorption energies of C and O (Delta H(C) and Delta H(O), respectively). By plotting the activity against Delta H(C) and Delta H(O), a 3-D volcano surface is obtained. Because of the constraint between Delta H(C) and Delta H(O) on monophase systems, a maximum can be achieved. However, if multiphase systems are used, such a constraint can be released and the global maximum may be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10868-10869
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number33
Early online date24 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2008


  • Evans-Polanyi relation
  • functional theory calculations
  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
  • CO oxidation
  • ammonia-synthesis
  • dehydrogenation
  • hydrogenation
  • dissociation
  • oxides
  • trends

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