Abstract Three CeO2–ZrO2–Y2O3–La2O3 (CZ) nanomaterials with controllable crystallite size were prepared by a simple co-precipitation method combined with hydrothermal treatment at different temperatures. The material CZ-180 possesses a high surface area of 43.6m2 g−1 and a low reduction temperature of 344°C simultaneously even after aging at 1000°C for 4h. Moreover, with improving hydrothermal temperature, the incorporation of rear earth metals was accelerated and surface properties were modified. And higher Pd dispersion and larger proportion of active Pd2+ species were achieved on the modified surface of CZ-180. Consequently, the supported catalyst Pd/CZ-180 shows a superior three-way catalytic performance. Highlights A nanostructured CeO2–ZrO2–Y2O3–La2O3 material simultaneously exhibits a high surface area of 43.6m2 g−1 and a low reduction temperature of 344°C even after aging at 1000°C for 4h. Improving hydrothermal temperature facilitates crystal growth and incorporation of rear earth metals into ceria lattices. The surface properties are significant modified by improving the pressure in autoclave. The Ce-rich surface with abundant defective sites is beneficial to facilitate the dispersion of Pd and stabilize Pd at a more oxidized state. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION] The nanostructured CeO2–ZrO2–Y2O3–La2O3 materials with enhanced thermal stability and low-temperature reducibility were synthesized by co-precipitation with different hydrothermal temperature (100, 150, 180°C). With improving hydrothermal temperature, the incorporation of rear earth metals was facilitated, and the surface properties were positively modified, which subsequently promotes Pd dispersion and stabilizes Pd at a more oxidized state.
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