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Impact of the experimental parameters on catalytic activity when preparing polymer protected bimetallic nanoparticle catalysts on activated carbon

Paris, Charlie B., Howe, Alexander G., Lewis, Richard James, Hewes, Daniel, Morgan, David J., He, Qian and Edwards, Jennifer K. 2022. Impact of the experimental parameters on catalytic activity when preparing polymer protected bimetallic nanoparticle catalysts on activated carbon. ACS Catalysis 12 , 4440–4454. 10.1021/acscatal.1c05904

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Abstract

Sol immobilization is used to produce bimetallic catalysts with higher activity to monometallic counterparts for a wide range of environmental and commercial catalytic transformations. Analysis of complementary surface characterization (XPS, Boehm’s titration, and zeta potential measurements) was used to elucidate alterations in the surface functionality of two activated carbon supports during acid exposure. When considered in parallel to the experimentally determined electrostatic and conformational changes of the polymer surrounding the nanoparticles, an electrostatic model is proposed describing polymer protected nanoparticle deposition with several polymer–carbon support examples described. Consideration of the electrostatic interactions ensures full deposition of the polymer protected nanoparticles and at the same time influences the structure of the bimetallic nanoparticle immobilized on the support. The normalized activity of AuPd catalysts prepared with 133 ppm H2SO4 has a much higher activity for the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide compared to catalysts prepared in the absence of acid. Detailed characterization by XPS indicates that the surface becomes enriched in Au in the Au–Pd samples prepared with acid, suggesting an improved dispersion of smaller bimetallic nanoparticles, rich in Au, that are known to be highly active for the direct synthesis reaction. Subsequent microscopy measurements confirmed this hypothesis, with the acid addition catalysts having a mean particle size ∼2 nm smaller than the zero acid counterparts. The addition of acid did not result in a morphology change, and random alloyed bimetallic AuPd nanoparticles were observed in catalysts prepared by sol immobilization in the presence and absence of acid. This work shows that the deposition of polymer protected AuPd nanoparticles onto activated carbon is heavily influenced by the acid addition step in the sol immobilization process. The physicochemical properties of both the polymer and the activated carbon support should be considered when designing a bimetallic nanoparticle catalyst by sol immobilization to ensure the optimum performance of the final catalyst.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 2155-5435
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 16 March 2022
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 07:28
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/149127

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