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These CeO2 nano-rods store a lot of O2 at low temperatures

By Tetsuo Satoh |

Automobile catalytic converters contain cerium-based co-catalysts to enhance the overall effectiveness of the converter by absorbing and releasing oxygen to convert CO into CO2. Existing emission control systems typically use CeO2-based materials, such as solid solutions of ceria and zirconia, which deliver good performance at high temperatures, but their oxygen storage capacity (OSC) deteriorates at temperatures below 300°C. To overcome this drawback, researchers from the group of Naoki Asao at Tohoku University (Sendai City, Japan; www.wpi-aimr.tohoku.ac.jp/asao_labo) have developed a process to fabricate fine nano-rods of CeO2 that have a high OSC at temperatures below 200°C. To make the nano-rods, a Ce-Al precursor is first “corroded” by a selective leaching process, which uses an alkaline solution under mild conditions to selectively leach away the Al and oxidize the Ce, followed by rapid quenching. The resulting CeO2 nano-rods have diameters of 5 to 7 nm and specific-surface areas of more than 200 m2/g. They exhibit an OSC of 156µmol O2/g at 200°C (81µmol O2/g at 100°C), which is five times greater than existing nano-cube systems at 200°C. The researchers are working to enhance the heat resistance of the developed…
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