Effective dispersion of the active species over the support almost always guarantees high catalytic efficiency. To achieve this high dispersion, a favourable interaction of the active species with the support is crucial. We show here that the crystal structure of the titania support determines the interaction and consequently the nature of ruthenium particles deposited on the support. Similar crystal structures of RuO2 and rutile titania result in a good lattice matching and ensure a better interaction during the heating steps of catalyst synthesis. This helps maintain the initial good dispersion of the active species on the support also in the subsequent reduction step, leading to better activity and selectivity. This highlights the importance of understanding the physico-chemical processes during various catalyst preparation steps, because the final catalyst performance often depends on the type of intermediate structures formed during the preparation.
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