The mechanism of nitrogen oxides reduction by hydrocarbons and in other systems

Noel W. Cant*, Andrew D. Cowan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Three aspects of the catalytic reduction of NOx have been investigated with particular emphasis on Cu-ZSM5. The reaction using methane shows a large kinetic isotope effect which is absent with isobutane. Thus, while abstraction of hydrogen from methane is rate determining, a different step plays that role with higher hydrocarbons. With Cu-ZSM5 and Co-ZSM5 the equilibration step, NO to NO2, is incomplete below 400°C in the presence and absence of methane. However, conversion of NO2 to NO is near complete when using isobutane over Cu-ZSM5, possibly due to a process which also maintains the catalyst free of deposited material. Measurements of the further reactions of isocyanic acid, HNCO, over Cu-ZSM5 at 270°C show that its rate of hydrolysis to CO2 and NH3 is fast while that with NO to give N2 and N2O is absent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalCatalysis Today
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 1997


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Reduction


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