Mechanistic study of hydrothermally aged Cu/SSZ-13 catalysts for ammonia-SCR
Journal article, 2018

The impact of hydrothermal ageing on the copper sites, crystalline order and critical reactions of a Cu/SSZ-13 was studied. The investigated catalyst had a low Si/Al ratio of 3.7 and was underexchanged at 65%. We propose that this catalyst had nearly saturated ion exchange positions in the 6-membered ring units (6MR) with copper ions, but still contained a significant amount of protonic sites in the large cages (8MR units). Investigation of a broad range of ageing temperatures (550-850 degrees C) allowed us to observe that no significant number of copper ions moved from the large cages into the 6MR units. Nevertheless, the Cu ions experienced a significant increase in reducibility above ageing temperatures of 700 degrees C. However, these changes appeared not to have a large impact on catalyst activity, which was more significantly correlated with long and short-range loss of crystallinity. Thus dealumination occurred at all temperatures above 550 degrees C and was correlated with significantly reduced ammonia storage capacity and ammonia oxidation ability. Low-temperature SCR activity was not much affected below 850 degrees C, but decreased significantly when total collapse of the zeolite framework occurred at this temperature. At ageing temperatures above 750 degrees C, formation of oxidic copper species was observed and correlated partially with increased high-temperature ammonia oxidation capacity, though it is possible that oxidation in parallel occurs on non-oxidic sites in ion-exchange positions. On the other hand, low-temperature ammonia oxidation was shown to occur on ionic copper sites (likely in the 6MR units) and decrease with increasing ageing temperature. We further found some evidence that low-temperature formation of N2O during standard SCR may occur on different sites or via different mechanisms.

Aging temperature



Low Si/Al ratio


Hydrothermal ageing


Kirsten Leistner

Chemical Process and Reaction Engineering

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Ashok Kumar

Cummins Inc.

Krishna Kamasamudram

Cummins Inc.

Louise Olsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK)

Catalysis Today

0920-5861 (ISSN)

Vol. 307 55-64

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering

Other Chemistry Topics

Areas of Advance




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