n378676SE Academic Article uri icon


  • Selectively converting biomass-derived oxygenates to H 2 or syngas (H 2 and CO) is critical in the utilization of biomass to replace fossil fuels. In previous studies, monolayer (ML) Ni on a Pt substrate showed enhanced conversion and selectivity for oxygenate conversion. In the current work, tungsten monocarbide (WC) is used to support monolayer Ni, with the aim of replacing ML Ni-Pt with ML Ni-WC. C2 oxygenates with different functional groups, ethylene glycol, acetaldehyde, and acetic acid, are studied on clean WC and Ni-modified WC surfaces. For each C2 oxygenate, density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal different binding energies on WC and Ni-WC surfaces. Parallel experimental measurements using temperature programmed desorption (TPD) and high resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS) confirm the different reaction pathways on the two types of surfaces, with the dominant decomposition pathway being C-O bond scission on clean WC and C-C bond cleavage on Ni-modified WC surfaces. Furthermore, using ethylene glycol decomposition as a probe reaction, the ML Ni-WC surface exhibits a similar net reaction pathway as that of ML Ni-Pt(111). 2012 American Chemical Society.

published proceedings

  • The Journal of Physical Chemistry C

author list (cited authors)

  • Yu, W., Mellinger, Z. J., Barteau, M. A., & Chen, J. G.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM