Generation of local redox potential from confined nano-bimetals in porous metal silicate materials for high-performance catalysis†
Partial hydrogenation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) could not only produce highly value-added chemicals but also reduce environmental pollution; however, the partial hydrogenation reaction has to be performed under extreme conditions in the presence of precious metal-based catalysts, because PAHs are a class of inactive reactants. We report herein a porous metal silicate (PMS) material, PMS-16, that consists of Co and Ni bimetal redox-active species and BIII Lewis acid sites, demonstrating high catalytic activity (>99% conversion) and selectivity (>99%) for hydrogenation of a series of PAHs under mild conditions, which is much superior to noble metal-based catalysts in the literature. The unique catalytic properties of PMS-16 are derived from the synergistic work between Ni and Co metal species by separately activating different reactant molecules and generating local redox potential to prompt electron and charge transfer. The catalyst is simply produced and very stable for industrial applications.