Microspherical ReS2 as a High-Performance Hydrodesulfurization Catalyst
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An unsupported microspherical ReS2 catalyst, consisting in self-assembled nano-layers, was evaluated in the hydrodesulfurization (HDS) of 3-methylthiophene showing an excellent catalytic activity. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, high resolution electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. These techniques revealed that the rhenium disulfide layers are confined to a 3D hierarchical structure with different stacking, slab size and bending, according to the annealing temperature (400 or 800 °C). The presence of a defect-rich structure in the microspheres, with short and randomly-orientated ReS2 slabs, results in the exposure of additional edge sites, which improve the catalytic performance of this material. This microspherical ReS2 composite, with good HDS performance, is a promising catalyst for the desulfurization of fuel oils; the solvothermal reaction conditions are also useful to tune and create exotic morphologies for the design of new ReS2 catalysts.
KeywordsRhenium disulfide Hidrodesulfurization Heterogeneous catalysis Solvothermal synthesis
The authors gratefully thank CONICYT (FONDECYT GRANT 1131112), Núcleo Milenio de Magnetismo, CEDENNA, CONACYT (Projects 174689 and 117373), PAPIIT (Project IN104714-3), Supercómputo-UNAM (LANCAD-UNAM-DGTIC-041) and CONICYT Postdoctoral Project 3170761 for the different financial supports. We are also very grateful to David A. Domínguez for valuable technical help obtaining the XPS spectra.