Anchoring highly dispersed metal nanoparticles by strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) on a dealuminated beta zeolite for catalysis

Run Zou, Gabriel A. Bramley, Shanshan Xu, Sarayute Chansai, Monik Panchal, Huanhao Chen, Yangtao Zhou, Pan Gao, Guangjin Hou, Stuart M. Holmes, Christopher Hardacre, Yilai Jiao, Andrew J. Logsdail, Xiaolei Fan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Zeolites with defects can be combined with appropriate synthetic protocols to beneficially stabilise metallic clusters and nanoparticles (NPs). In this work, highly dispersed Ni NPs were prepared on a defect-rich dealuminated beta (deAl-beta) zeolite through strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) synthesis, which enabled strong interactions between the electronegative deAl-beta and cationic metal ammine complexes (e.g., Ni(NH3)62+) via the framework silanol nests. Ni NPs with diameters of 1.9 ± 0.2 nm were formed after SEA and reduction in H2 at 500 °C and showed good activity in CO2 methanation (i.e., specific reaction rate of 3.92 × 10−4 mol s−1 gNi−1 and methane selectivity of 99.8% at 400 °C under GHSV of 30 000 mL g−1 h−1). The mechanism of the SEA synthetic process was elucidated by ex situ XAFS, in situ DRIFTS, and DFT. XAFS of the as-prepared Ni catalysts (i.e., unreduced) indicates that SEA leads to the exchange of anions in Ni precursors (e.g., Cl and NO3) to form Ni(OH)2, while in situ DRIFTS of catalyst reduction shows a significant decrease in the signal of IR bands assigned to the silanol nests (at ∼960 cm−1), which could be ascribed to the strong interaction between Ni(OH)2 and silanol nests via SEA. DFT calculations show that metallic complexes bind more strongly to charged defect sites compared to neutral silanol nest defects (up to 150 kJ mol−1), confirming the enhanced interaction between metallic complexes and zeolitic supports under SEA synthesis conditions. The results provide new opportunities for preparing highly dispersed metal catalysts using defect-rich zeolitic carriers for catalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
JournalCatalysis Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis


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