The reaction between hydrogen and oxygen has been investigated at low temperatures with a dilute platinum catalyst. Experimental conversion data indicate a strong effect of product water on reaction rate and a second-order dependence of rate on hydrogen partial pressure in the presence of a large excess of oxygen. This observed behavior is considerably different from expectations based on prior literature.
Stable activity levels are much lower than those reported by Boreskov for this reaction on platinum; it is shown that present results are consistent with the effect of chemisorbed oxygen proposed by Boreskov and with the conditions imposed for reaction on a dilute catalyst. Activation energy for the reaction at 100°C. was determined to be 10± 2 kcal./g.-mole.