We have studied the gas phase continuous hydrogenation of m-dinitrobenzene (m-DNB) over acid treated activated carbon (AC) supported Au and Ag prepared by deposition-precipitation. Temperature programmed reduction of a 1%wt. metal loading generated a broad distribution of Au (mean = 45 nm) and Ag (mean = 13 nm) nanoparticles. A decrease in metal content to 0.1%wt. served to increase dispersion (Au/AC (mean = 4 nm) and Ag/AC (mean = 3 nm)) where both catalysts exhibited an electron enriched (from XPS) metal phase. m-DNB hydrogenation activity was stable with time on-stream where partial hydrogenation (to m-nitroaniline (m-NAN)) was favoured at low conversion with a switch to full hydrogenation (to m-phenylenediamine (m-PDM)) at higher conversions consistent with a stepwise reaction mechanism. Reaction over 0.1%wt. Au/AC delivered a greater than 5-fold higher turnover frequency (TOF) relative to Ag/AC that can be attributed to a higher H2 chemisorption capacity under reaction conditions. Activation energy for m-DNB → m-NAN was the same (110 kJ mol−1) for both catalysts. We have established differences in the conversion/selectivity response where m-NAN formation was enhanced over Ag/AC at the same conversion, which is ascribed to differences in m-DNB adsorption/activation.
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- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Assistant Professor
- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy Engineering - Assistant Professor
Person: Academic (Research & Teaching)