Formation of reactive Lewis acid sites on Fe/WO3–ZrO2 catalysts for higher temperature SCR applications

Rodney Foo, Tanya Vazhnova, Dmitry B. Lukyanov, Paul Millington, Jillian Collier, Raj Rajaram, Stan Golunski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (SciVal)


Tungsten–zirconia (WO3–ZrO2), which oxidises NH3 but shows no NOx-reduction activity, can be converted into an active ammonia-SCR catalyst by impregnation with Fe. The role of Fe in inducing SCR activity has been studied by relating the catalytic performance of tungsten–zirconia materials (containing 0, 0.5, 2, 3 and 10 wt% Fe) to their surface acidity, which has been probed by pyridine adsorption. The most active material, 3 wt% Fe/WO3–ZrO2, reduces NOx by 10-20% at the minimum temperature tested (150 °C), and achieves 80–85% conversion at temperatures between 400 and 550 °C. The performance can be correlated with the formation of new Fe3+ Lewis acid sites that have a pivotal role in the SCR reaction by activating NOx, and which are associated with a characteristic peak shift in the IR spectrum of adsorbed pyridine. The introduction of Fe also has the effect of increasing the strength of the Brønsted acidity, which accounts for the similarity in activity observed between the Fe/WO3–ZrO2 materials and benchmark Fe/beta-zeolite catalysts at higher temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Issue number6
Early online date26 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Selective catalytic reduction
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Iron
  • Tungsten zirconia
  • Acidity


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