HCOOH decomposition was studied on a free jet melt-spun amorphous Fe80B20 ribbon and on its counterpart crystallized in oxygen. The samples were characterized by XPS depth profiling before the catalytic reaction, after HCOOH treatment and after crystallization. It was established that on the amorphous catalyst, the prevailing route is dehydrogenation due to the presence of small zero-valent iron particles stabilized by boron oxide whereas on the crystallized alloy large α-iron particles are formed by the partial reduction of crystalline iron oxide leading to the dominating route of dehydration. These results indicate the difference in the surface morphology and give a new proof of the two possible pathways of HCOOH decomposition.
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