Structured Ni–B amorphous alloy catalysts on Ni foam for a gas–liquid–solid microreactor
In this work, structured Ni–B amorphous alloy catalysts on Ni foam (termed as Ni–B/Ni foam catalysts) were proposed for nitrobenzene catalytic hydrogenation by a facile and effective electroless plating technique. Non-noble Ni–B catalysts could effectively reduce the cost of reactors for large-scale industrial application. Moreover, benefitting from the abundant interconnected pore structure of Ni foam, strong perturbation and good mixing could be induced in microreactors for enhancing mass transport. The experimental results indicated that the developed catalysts showed good catalytic activity and durability during 30 h operation. The effect of the B–Ni molar ratio on catalytic performance was also investigated. It was shown that as the B–Ni molar ratio increased from 0.5 to 2, the nitrobenzene conversion increased from 16% to 95.8%, and then decreased to 68% when the B–Ni molar ratio further increased to 4. The best performance was achieved with a B–Ni molar ratio of 2 in the present work. The nitrobenzene conversion and aniline selectivity could reach 95.8% and 93.8%, respectively.