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Catalytic Oxidation of Carbon Monoxide Using Copper-Zinc Mixed Oxide Nanoparticles Supported on Diatomite

Saeed Athar 1 ; and Hasan Asilian 1, *
1 Environmental and Occupational Health Engineering Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, IR Iran
*Corresponding author: Hasan Asilian, Environmental and Occupational Health Engineering Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences, TarbiatModares University, Tehran, IR Iran. Tel.: +98-2182883825, Fax: +98-2182883825, E-mail: [email protected]
Health Scope. 2012 July; 1(2): 52-56. , DOI: 10.5812/jhs.4590
Article Type: Research Article; Received: Feb 25, 2012; Revised: Mar 6, 2012; Accepted: Mar 14, 2012; epub: Jul 31, 2012; ppub: Jul 1, 2012
Running Title: Catalytic Oxidation of Carbon Monoxide


Background: Diatomite coated by nanoparticles of copper and zinc mixed oxides were used to investigate catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide.

Objectives: Aim of this paper was to investigatediatomite performance as a supporting host to confine the CuO and ZnO nanoparticles and its catalytic activity for carbon monoxide oxidation.

Materials and Methods: The prepared catalysts were characterized by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Catalytic behavior for CO oxidation was studied at different conditions in a tubular reactor packed with catalyst.

Results: The results illustrated that diatomite is the promising candidate for catalyst support due to its unique characteristics. The variation of catalytic activity of the prepared composite catalysts withdifferent molar fractions of CuO and ZnO for CO oxidation in different reaction temperatures was investigated. It was found that a CO conversion of 100% can be achieved at 300 ºC over catalyst with 80 mol% CuO and 20 mol% ZnO content.

1. Background

Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced by natural processes and anthropogenic sources. Inhalation of carbon monoxide gas can cause cardiovascular eventsand death (1). Catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide is one of the most well-known methods to oxidize CO into carbon dioxide, different kinds of materials has beenused for the support of nanoparticles, some of these include: Al2O3, silica, MCM-48, Al-SBA-15, activated carbon fibers, Y-type zeolite and H-BEA zeolite (2,3, 4,5,6).Diatomite is a lightweight sedimentary rock. Silicon dioxide is the main component of diatomite and some impurities such as iron, alumina and metal oxides are other components of diatomite. Diatomite has some unique characteristics such as: 80-90% pore spaces, numerous fine microscopic pores, cavities and channels, high porosity (35-65%), good sorption ability, low density, high permeability, high surface area, excellent thermal resistance, wide variety of shape, different sizes and active hydroxyl groups on it (7, 8,9,10,11).There are various considerable catalysts which has been supported on different oxide surfaces. Some catalysts presented in the literature are transition metal and noble metal clusters supported on Al2O3, SiO2, TiO2, Fe2O3(12). Heretofore the catalytic performance of diatomite supported by copper and zinc mixed oxides nanoparticles for catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide has been never reported. Since the exploration of new catalyst systems with more inexpensive and easier available supports is still a challenge, so the aim of this paper is the investigation of diatomite performance as a supporting host to confine the CuO and ZnO nanoparticles and its catalytic activity for carbon monoxide oxidation.


This research was supported by the Department of Environmental Health, TarbiatModares University of Iran. Authors are also grateful to Dr. A. Rezaee for providing laboratory equipment.


Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education The content and results of this paper is useful for researchers who are interested in Air Pollution Control especially catalytic elimination of carbon monoxide as a pollutant using coated Nano catalyst.
Please cite this paper as Dehestani Athar S, Asilian H. Catalytic Oxidation of Carbon Monoxide Using Copper-Zinc Mixed Oxide Nanoparticles Supported on Diatomite. Health Scope. 2012; 1(2): 52-6. DOI: 10.5812/jhs.4590
Authors’ Contribution Saeed Dehestani Athar: 50% Hasan Asilian: 50%
Financial Disclosure None declared.


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Table 1

The Elemental Analysis of Pure Diatomite by Means of XRF

Component SiO2 Fe2O3 MgO K2O Al2O3 CaO Na2O TiO2 P2O5
Content,% 89 1.45 0.25 0.25 2.7 0.85 3.1 0.9 1.5

Table 2

Surface Area of Catalyst Samples

Calcination Temperature, ºC Total Specific Surface Area,m2/g
Cu80Zn20/diatomite 300 150
Cu80Zn20/diatomite 400 150
Cu80Zn20/diatomite 500 148
Cu80Zn20/diatomite 600 145
Pure diatomite - 95

Figure 1

XRD Patterns of the Pure Diatomite and Prepared Catalyst With Different Molar Fractions of CuO and ZnO, Calcined at 450 ºC
(a) Pure diatomite; (b) Cu90Zn10; (c) Cu80Zn20; (d) Cu70Zn30 and (e) Cu60Zn40

Figure 2

SEM and EDX Analysis of Pure Diatomite and Cu80Zn20/Diatomite
(a) And (b) SEM photographs of pure diatomite (c) EDX of figure a (d) secondary electron of Cu80Zn20/diatomite (e) back-scattered of Cu80Zn20/ diatomite (f) EDX of figure d

Figure 3

Catalytic Activity of Prepared Catalyst With Different Molar Fractions of CuO and ZnO, Calcined at 450 ºC for CO Oxidation as a Function of Reaction Temperature

Figure 4

Illustrates CO Conversion Over Prepared Catalysts at Different Calcination Temperatures
Catalytic activity of Cu80Zn20/diatomite, calcined at different temperatures for CO oxidation

Figure 5

Influence of Flow Rate on the Catalytic Activity of Cu80Zn20/Diatomite

Figure 6

Determination of Reaction Order for CO Oxidation With Respect to Inlet Carbon Monoxide