Cu carbonyls enhance the performance of Ru-based SILP water-gas shift catalysts: A combined in-situ DRIFTS and DFT study
Ru-based supported ionic liquid phase (SILP) catalysts efficiently promote the water-gas shift reaction (WGSR). The addition of CuCl further improves the performance. This is attributed to the formation of labile Cu carbonyl species, which act as CO shuttles in the ionic liquid (IL) phase. We apply in-situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) to monitor the formation of these Cu carbonyls present in an imidazolium-based SILP system. To aid the identification of the relevant Cu carbonyls, we perform density functional theory (DFT) calculations. In the present study, we investigate [Ru(CO)3Cl2]2/CuCl/[C4C1C1Im]Cl/Al2O3 and CuCl/[C4C1C1Im]Cl/Al2O3 with varying CuCl:IL ratios. The relevant Cu carbonyls are identified as neutral CuCl monomers and dimers, as well as monoanionic monomers and dimers. Moreover, we demonstrate that the ratio of the individual Cu carbonyl species depends on the CuCl:IL ratio.