Decomposition of Nitric Oxide over Barium Oxide Supported on Magnesium Oxide. 3. In Situ Raman Characterization of the Role of Oxygen Academic Article uri icon


  • Time-resolved high-temperature in situ Raman spectroscopy was successfully used to study details of the complex reaction network between gas phase oxygen and the species present in highly loaded Ba/MgO catalysts. The decomposition of the catalyst precursor Ba(NO3)2 to an amorphous phase containing nitrate and nitrite ions (phase II′) occurs at higher temperatures in the presence of O2 than in He. Thus, the presence of O2 stabilizes the precursor Ba(NO3)2. In the presence of O2, phase III, containing the Ba-nitro complex, is not observed, and the decomposition of the amorphous phase II′ directly reacts to BaO2. Defect-rich BaO rather than BaO2 is formed when the decomposition is in pure He. Gas-phase oxygen, therefore, exerts a strong effect on the stability of the phases present on the catalyst. In addition, it was shown that oxygen, added to the gas feed during catalytic NO decomposition, reduces the number of active Ba-nitro complex species via oxidation to nitrates. This reaction is identified with the inhibiting effect of oxygen on the catalytic activity. Crystalline BaO2 reacts with NO to form nitrates, nitrites, and Ba-nitro complexes, depending on the O2 and NO partial pressures and reaction temperatures. At lower temperatures, phase II′ is formed, while at elevated temperatures, the reaction results in phase III containing Ba-nitro complexes. The formation of these phases from BaO2 and their interconversions confirms the previously established phase diagram and suggests the role of BaO2 in the activation of NO. Crystalline BaO2, however, was never detected under catalytic conditions. It has been shown that, in the absence of crystalline BaO2, NO activation occurs on O22- ions that are present in or on defect-rich BaO. Peroxide species, therefore, may play an important role in the catalytic cycle. A catalytic cycle is proposed in which the intermediate Ba-nitro species are formed from the reaction of NO with O22- ions in or on defect-rich BaO. In the rate-determining step, the intermediate Ba-nitro species react with a second gas phase, or weakly adsorbed, NO molecule to produce N2 and O2. Oxygen reforms the activating peroxide species.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mestl, G., Rosynek, M. P., & Lunsford, J. H.

citation count

  • 29

publication date

  • November 1997