Microspherical ReS2 as a High-Performance Hydrodesulfurization Catalyst


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.

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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.

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Correspondence to J. A. Aliaga.

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Aliaga, J.A., Zepeda, T.N., Pawelec, B.N. et al. Microspherical ReS2 as a High-Performance Hydrodesulfurization Catalyst. Catal Lett 147, 1243–1251 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10562-017-2024-6

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  • Rhenium disulfide
  • Hidrodesulfurization
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Solvothermal synthesis