On the optimum catalyst for structure sensitive heterogeneous catalytic reactions

Dmitry Yu. Murzin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Reaction rates in a two-step catalytic sequence, when plotted vs adsorption energy of the key or the most abundant surface intermediate, result in volcano shaped curves. In the current work, the optimal catalyst is discussed for structure sensitive reactions, which display dependence of activity on the cluster size of the active catalytic phase. An expression is derived relating the Gibbs energy for formation of the intermediate with the Gibbs energy changes in the overall reaction, difference in adsorption thermodynamics on edges and terraces and the cluster size. The kinetic expressions display dependence of activity vs the Gibbs energy of the adsorbed intermediate formation. Numerical analysis demonstrates that when the overall equilibrium constant K is high and the reaction is thermodynamically very favorable, the maxima in the rates vs the adsorption constant for the optimal catalyst are much broader being less dependent on the cluster size. When structure sensitivity is pronounced, there are smaller differences in the rates for the optimum and less optimal catalysts in comparison with reactions showing weak structure sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalReaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cluster size
  • Optimum catalyst
  • Structure sensitivity


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