XAS investigation of silica aerogel supported cobalt rhenium catalysts for ammonia decomposition†
The implementation of ammonia as a hydrogen vector relies on the development of active catalysts to release hydrogen on-demand at low temperatures. As an alternative to ruthenium-based catalysts, herein we report the high activity of silica aerogel supported cobalt rhenium catalysts. XANES/EXAFS studies undertaken at reaction conditions in the presence of the ammonia feed reveal that the cobalt and rhenium components of the catalyst which had been pre-reduced are initially re-oxidised prior to their subsequent reduction to metallic and bimetallic species before catalytic activity is observed. A synergistic effect is apparent in which this re-reduction step occurs at considerably lower temperatures than for the corresponding monometallic counterpart materials. The rate of hydrogen production via ammonia decomposition was determined to be 0.007 molH2 gcat−1 h−1 at 450 °C. The current study indicates that reduced Co species are crucial for the development of catalytic activity.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Synchrotron Radiation Techniques in Catalytic Science and Introducing the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Associate Editors