Two-way synergy of dual sites enhances RWGS reaction

Synergistic Interactions of Neighboring Platinum and Iron Atoms Enhance Reverse Water–Gas Shift Reaction Performance


The limitations of conventional strategies in finely controlling the composition and structure demand new promotional effects for upgrading the reverse water–gas shift (RWGS) catalysts for enhanced fuel production. We report the design and synthesis of a hetero-dual-site catalyst for boosting RWGS performance by controllably loading Fe atoms at the neighboring Pt atom on the surface of commercial CeO2. The Fe–Pt/CeO2 exhibits a remarkably high catalytic performance (TOFPt: 43,519 h–1) for CO2 to CO conversion with ∼100% CO selectivity at a relatively low temperature of 350 °C. Furthermore, the catalyst retains over 80% activity after 200 h of continuous operation. The experimental and computational investigations reveal a “two-way synergistic effect”, where Fe atoms can not only serve as promotors to alter the charge density of Pt atoms but also be activated by the excess active hydrogen species generated by Pt atoms, enhancing catalytic activity and stability.

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Key points:

Learning points:

Catalyst Factors Contributing to RWGS

Manufacturing of the catalysts with high metal dispersity, abundant oxygen vacancy, and an appropriate surface charge state.

Increasing the availability of active hydrogen species might be a potential route to overcome the performance limits.

Structure of Catalyst


Pt species are atomically dispersed.

Both Pt and Fe species are uniformly distributed throughout the CeO2 support.



The absence of Pt diffraction peaks in the XRD pattern indicates its high atomic dispersion.

Pt species in Pt/Ce2 and Pt/Ce2 are in positively charged states.


Pt−O bond in Fe−Pt/CeO2 is elongated due to nearby Fe atoms.

57Fe Mossbauer Spectroscopy: No metallic iron or iron oxide was identified, suggesting the atomic dispersion of Fe species.

Electrons transfer from Pt to Fe.

Catalytic Performance

Catalytic Performance
The stability is closely related to metal−support interactions but not from the Fe promoter.

Decreasing of Metal Feeding

Decreasing the total metal content leads to similar improvement (synergy still exists), which indicates that Pt an Fe atoms should not be randomly distributed.

Two-way Synergistic Effect

Synergy Investigation

A possible reaction loop:

DTF Calculation