A boron nitride nanosheet-supported Pt/Cu cluster as a high-efficiency catalyst for propane dehydrogenation†
Minimizing the use of platinum while maximizing its catalytic activity is attractive but challenging in the development of industrially important platinum catalysts. Herein, using a hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheet-supported Pt/Cu cluster catalyst, we report the promotion of the platinum utilization efficiency and catalytic performance for the dehydrogenation of propane. Specifically, as little as 100 ppm platinum exhibits high propane conversion (∼15%) and propylene selectivity (>99%) at a relatively low reaction temperature (520 °C); the formation rate of propylene reaches 7.3 mol molPt−1 s−1, which is about 10 times higher than the best value for the reported Pt/Cu single-atom alloy catalyst. The structural analysis reveals that the abundant fault edges of the h-BN nanosheets and strong bonding of copper with the edge B–O defects maintain the unique geometry of the Pt/Cu cluster, together with the metallic platinum ensemble stabilizing on the top layer of the copper cluster, leading to remarkable improvement in catalytic efficiency. This prominent promotion in catalytic efficiency is also exemplified using other supports including Al2O3, SBA-15 and SiC as counterparts.