Document Type

Article

Journal Title

Physical Review E

Volume Number

88

Issue Number

3

First Page

032125-1

Last Page

032125-12

Version

Publisher PDF: the final published version of the article, with professional formatting and typesetting

Original Citation

Sheehan, D.P., Nonequilibrium heterogeneous catalysis in the long mean-free-path regime, Phys. Rev. E 88 032125 (2013).

Publication Date

9-2013

Disciplines

Physics

Abstract

It is shown that a standard principle of traditional catalysis-that a catalyst does not alter the final thermodynamic equilibrium of a reaction-can fail in low-pressure, heterogeneous gas-surface reactions. Kinetic theory for this epicatalysis is presented, and two well-documented experimental examples are detailed: surface ionized plasmas and hydrogen dissociation on refractory metals. This phenomenon should be observable over a wide range of temperatures and pressures, and for a broad spectrum of heterogeneous reactions. By transcending some constraints of equilibrium thermodynamics, epicatalysis might provide additional control parameters and synthetic routes for reactions, and enable product streams boosted in thermochemical energy or desirable species.

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Physics Commons

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