, Volume 8, Issue 5-6, pp 345-358

Homogeneous Rh-Sn alkoxide coatings on silica surfaces: A novel route for preparation of bimetallic Rh-Sn catalysts

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The reaction of [{(COD)Rh}2Sn(OEt)6], where COD = 1,5-cyclooctadiene and Et = ethyl, with silanol groups on silica surfaces is shown to lead to near-monolayer coverage of the silica by the Rh-Sn organometallic compound. Heating the supported compound at 498 K yields a catalyst that is active for benzene hydrogenation at room temperature. When the catalyst is reduced in H2 at 823 K, the benzene hydrogenation activity increases with a simultaneous drop in the activity for n-butane hydrogenolysis. High temperature reduction leads to formation of Rh-Sn alloy particles with an average particle diameter of 2.5 nm. These particles are stable towards oxidation-reduction cycles involving oxidation at 773 K in 15% O2. When normalized to the benzene hydrogenation activity, the n-butane hydrogenolysis activity of the bimetallic catalyst is suppressed by over 3 orders of magnitude when compared to a monometallic Rh catalyst.