Characterization of Al2O3 Supported Nickel Catalysts Derived from RF Non-thermal Plasma Technology
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Catalysts derived from non-thermal plasma techniques have previously shown unusual and highly advantageous catalytic properties including room temperature reduction, unusual metal particle structure and metal-support interactions, and enhanced selectivity and stability. This study focuses on the characterization of Al2O3 supported Ni catalysts derived from the RF non-thermal plasma technique with in-situ XRD, TPR-MS and STEM and on relating the results to the enhanced activity and stability of benzene hydrogenation. The results suggest that catalysts with plasma treatments before impregnation are relatively easier to be reduced and result in better activities under mild reduction conditions. These plasma treatments stabilize the nickel particle sizes of air(B) and H2(B) catalysts at 600 °C by slowing down the sintering process. Plasma treatments after the impregnation of precursors, on the other hand, tend to delay the growth of nickel particles below 600 °C, forming smaller Ni particles, but with a sudden increase in particle size near 600 °C. It suggests that the structure of Ni nitrate and the metal-support interaction have been altered by the plasma treatments. The reduction patterns of plasma treated catalysts are, therefore, changed. The catalyst with a combination plasma treatment demonstrates that the effect of a combination plasma treatment is larger than either the plasma treatment before or after the impregnation alone. Both plasma treatments before and after the impregnation of metal precursor play important roles in modifying supported metal catalysts.
KeywordsNon-thermal plasma Benzene hydrogenation Metal-support interaction Supported Ni catalysts
The financial support of ARP-THECB and Welch Foundation is acknowledged. A portion of this research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, sponsored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, by the Division of Scientific User Facilities, U. S. DOE.
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