Rh promoted In2O3 as a highly active catalyst for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol†
Synthesis of methanol with high selectivity and productivity through hydrogenation of CO2 is highly attractive. This work uses a Rh doped In2O3 catalyst to achieve a high methanol productivity of 1.0 gMeOH h−1 gcat−1 while maintaining the intrinsic high selectivity of pure In2O3. Rh facilitated the dissociation of H2 leading to creation of oxygen vacancies over the In2O3 surface. In addition, Rh atoms also participated in the activation of CO2 to produce formate species with a low activation barrier as evidenced by DFT calculation. Rh species were atomically dispersed in the In2O3 matrix and were stable during a long term reaction. Under reaction conditions, the surface Rh atoms were reduced and were stabilized by charge transfer from neighbouring In atoms. Our results show that incorporation of atomic Rh species in In2O3 can lead to high methanol productivity by creation of oxygen vacancies as well as Rh centred active sites for CO2 activation.