Nanosized CuO-ZrxCe1 – xOy aerogel catalysts prepared by ethanol supercritical drying for catalytic deep oxidation of benzene

Nanosized CuO-ZrxCe1 – xOy (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.5) solid solution oxide catalysts were prepared using a co-precipitation method followed with ethanol supercritical drying and calcination at 800 °C. The structural characteristics and redox behaviors were investigated by using X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectroscopy, and temperature programmed reduction (H2-TPR). The results revealed that the as-prepared samples not only possessed large specific surface areas, small crystal sizes and high homogeneity of constituents, but also exhibited high catalytic activity for the complete oxidation of benzene. The structural properties and the catalytic performances of the aerogel catalysts strongly depended on the Ce/Zr molar ratio. The most highly active catalyst, CuO-Ce0.5Zr0.5Oy, could oxidize benzene at 300 °C and kept robust in a 50 h long-term duration test, implying it would be a good and cost-effective alternative to noble metal catalysts for the complete oxidation of VOCs at lower temperatures.