# Is the decomposition reaction of nitrogen monoxide to dinitrogen and dioxygen possible?

Is the reaction $\ce{2NO -> N2 + O2}$ possible? Of course with some kind of catalyst plus high temperature. How can I find the answer to such questions and where can I find more information about this reaction?

• en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalytic_converter – Mithoron Aug 19 '16 at 15:13
• @Mithoron In catalytic converters, don't they need a reduction agent, ie. hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide? I was clear that I did NOT include these in my equation in my question. – ergon Aug 22 '16 at 12:25

You should look up enthalpy of formation and enthalpy of reaction in your textbook. Also have a look at (Gibbs) Free energy change on reaction. This will tell you if the reaction is going to be spontaneous, as it is in this case.
The thermodynamic energies never tell you how fast the reaction will be as these relate only to the starting (reactant) and ending (product) energies. The activation energy, the barrier between reactants and product is unknown to thermodynamics.
Secondly, a catalyst will not change the thermodynamics of the reaction, the starting and ending states are the same, but it speeds up a reaction by allowing the reaction to proceed by an alternative pathway with a smaller activation barrier.

Yes, that reaction is possible. It is used in catalytic converters to help convert exhaust into less toxic gases. The catalytic converters are generally platinum, or palladium and rhodium. Platinum can reduce and oxidize, while Rhodium just reduces and Palladium just oxidizes. Other material can be used but they have more limitation.

• Erm, since these are catalysts we’re talking about, they’ll leave the reaction unchanged so they will reduce and oxidise ;) – Jan Aug 19 '16 at 16:22
• In catalytic converters, don't they need a reduction agent, ie. hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide? – ergon Aug 19 '16 at 22:25
• Yes. They do. Sorry. – Arvin Singh Aug 25 '16 at 14:05