Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Schulz, Kirk H.

Committee Member

George, Clifford E.

Committee Member

Toghiani, Hossein

Committee Member

Hill, Priscilla J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering


Cerium and zirconium oxides are materials that have unique catalytic properties and are finding many applications in industrial catalysis. Particularly, the great advances attained in the past 30 years in curbing the amount of gaseous pollutants released can be attributed to the development of catalysts employing such materials. However, oxides of sulfur are known poisons of many catalytic systems and are encountered in many commercial applications. In this investigation, polycrystalline ceria-zirconia solid solutions of various molar ratios were synthesized. High resolution x-ray photoemission spectra were obtained and examined to reveal the surface species that form on these metal oxides after exposure to sulfur dioxide under various conditions. The model catalysts are exposed to sulfur dioxide using an in-situ high-pressure reaction cell. A reliable sample platen heater was designed to allow the observation of any temperature dependency up to 673 K. The results of this study demonstrate the formation of sulfate and sulfite adsorbed sulfur species. Temperature and compositional dependencies are also displayed, with higher temperatures and ceria mole fractions displaying a larger propensity for the formation of surface sulfur species.