Enhanced CO2 hydrogenation to methanol over CuZn nanoalloy in Ga modified Cu/ZnO catalysts

Molly Meng Jung Li, Ziyan Zeng, Fenglin Liao, Xinlin Hong, Shik Chi Edman Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


With the introduction of Ga3+ into Cu/ZnO catalyst precursors, a series of catalysts have been prepared using a simple co-precipitation method and tested as catalysts for the synthesis of methanol from CO2 hydrogenation. It is found that the presence of a small amount of Ga3+ can facilitate thermal deep reduction of ZnO support to Zn atoms under hydrogen prior to catalysis; hence, a highly active CuZn bimetallic nanoparticle offering catalytic sites is generated. The effect of Ga3+ incorporation is attributed to the formation of Ga-containing spinel, ZnGa2O4 structure, which creates electronic heterojunction with excess ZnO phase to account for the facilitated reduction of Zn2+ to Zn0 to form CuZn when in contact with Cu nanoparticle. A correlation between Zn0 concentration in the CuZn alloy nanoparticle to the catalytic performance can thus be clearly demonstrated, which shows CO2 conversion and methanol selectivity can be significantly improved by increasing the Zn0 content in these hetero-junctioned catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CO
  • Cu–ZnO catalysts
  • Heterojunction
  • Hydrogenation
  • Methanol synthesis
  • Recycled fuel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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