The water gas shift reaction (WGS) mechanism on the anatase TiO2 (101) surface has been investigated using periodic density functional theory. Reaction energies and activation energy barriers for direct CO oxidation and associative pathways with carboxyl and formate intermediates were calculated and compared. Unassisted by water, the formation of formate was infeasible due to the difficulty in transferring hydrogen from the anatase surface to hydrogenate CO, while the carboxyl mechanism had the lowest apparent activation energy barrier among the three. Coadsorbed water species were found to be effective hydrogen transfer cocatalysts, with molecularly physisorbed water acting as a hydrogen donor and dissociatively chemisorbed water acting as a hydrogen acceptor. Using water as the hydrogen donor, CO hydrogenation became competitive with the carboxyl mechanism, indicating that the reactivity of water could change the relative competitiveness of different WGS pathways. These results suggest that adsorbed water concentration plays an important role in determining adsorbate speciation and concentration on the anatase surface during WGS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering