ACTIVITY OF ALUMINA SUPPORTED Fe CATALYSTS FOR N2O DECOMPOSITION: EFFECTS OF THE IRON CONTENT AND THERMAL TREATMENT
The activity of Fe2O3/Al2O3 catalysts prepared by impregnation of Al2O3 with different amounts of Fe and calcination temperatures (650 and 900 ºC) in the direct N2O decomposition reaction was studied. High calcination temperature was introduced to study the effect of “aging”, which are the conditions prevailing in the process-gas option for N2O abatement. The catalysts were characterized by BET, XRD, UV-DRS, and H2-TPR. The incorporation of Fe promotes the alumina phase transition (g-Al2O3 to a-Al2O3) when the catalysts are calcined at 900 ºC, which is accompanied by a decrease in the specific area. The activity of the catalysts and the specific surface area depend on Fe loading and calcination temperature. It was found that highly dispersed Fe species are more active than bulk type Fe2O3 particles. We conclude that Fe2O3/Al2O3 catalysts prepared by impregnation method are active in the decomposition of N2O, to be used at low or high reaction temperatures (tail-gas or process-gas treatments, respectively), as part of nitric acid production plant.