Effect of hydrogen and propylene on the hydrogen peroxide decomposition over Pt, PtO and Au catalysts

E. Kertalli, J.C. Schouten, T.A. Nijhuis

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The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on Pt, PtO and Au catalysts has been investigated in the presence of nitrogen, propylene and hydrogen. H2O2 formation on the catalyst is known to be a key intermediate step for the direct synthesis of propylene oxide (PO) from hydrogen, propylene and oxygen. Therefore, during this reaction, H2O2 is in contact with the catalyst on which it is produced, propylene and hydrogen. In this work we investigate the effect of the simultaneous presence of a metal catalyst (Pt, Au) and these gases on the H2O2 decomposition. The presence of hydrogen favors the decomposition of H2O2 over all the studied catalysts. This is attributed to the combination of direct decomposition and hydrogenation reactions. Furthermore, hydrogen changes the catalyst from an oxidized to a more metallic state accelerating the H2O2 decomposition. We also observed the positive effect of propylene on decreasing the decomposition activity of Pt and Au. The experimental results were used to estimate reaction rate constants. The obtained rate constants hinted to changes of the catalyst during the decomposition as the main reason for reaction rate changes. This was confirmed to happen for Pt but not for the Au catalyst. The decrease of H2O2 decomposition on Au in the presence of propylene is due to their interaction where propylene blocks the Au active sites responsible for the H2O2 decomposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131–138
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Catalysis. A, General
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2017


  • Au/SiO
  • H O decomposition
  • Hydrogen
  • Propylene
  • Pt/SiO
  • PtO/SiO


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