The Effect of Phosphorus Exposure on Diesel Oxidation Catalysts—Part II: Characterization of Structural Changes by Transmission Electron Microscopy


Phosphorus poisoning and its effect on the diesel oxidation catalysts morphology was studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The studied catalyst samples were PtPd or Pt supported on the alumina-based washcoat including additives. The laboratory-scale phosphorus exposures were carried out with two different phosphorus concentrations. The cross-sectional TEM samples were prepared from the fresh and phosphorus-treated catalysts. After phosphorus exposures, significant structural changes were observed compared to the fresh catalysts. The shape of the noble metal particles had changed from irregular to more spherical-shaped particles. In addition, phosphorus was detected throughout the catalyst TEM samples but the amount varied depending on the local composition of the support. Phosphorus accumulated mainly in the alumina-containing areas of the support and indications of dense and amorphous aluminium phosphates were found. Based on the results gained, cross-sectional TEM characterization is essential to observe these kinds of morphological changes in the catalysts caused e.g. by phosphorus exposures. In addition, cross-sectional TEM samples are needed to study the effect of local variation in the support composition on the phosphorus accumulation.

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The authors gratefully thank the Academy of Finland for funding (Decision Numbers 138798 and 139187).

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Correspondence to Mari Honkanen.

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Honkanen, M., Kärkkäinen, M., Heikkinen, O. et al. The Effect of Phosphorus Exposure on Diesel Oxidation Catalysts—Part II: Characterization of Structural Changes by Transmission Electron Microscopy. Top Catal 58, 971–976 (2015).

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  • Diesel oxidation catalyst
  • Phosphorus poisoning
  • Structural characterization
  • Transmission electron microscopy