Molybdenum nitrides: a study of synthesis variables and catalytic performance in acetylene hydrogenation

Fernando Cardenas-Lizana*, Daniel Lamey, Lioubov Kiwi-Minsker, Mark A. Keane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


We have examined the catalytic action of β- and γ-Mo2N in the partial hydrogenation of acetylene. The influence of variations in GHSV (230–1600 min−1), feed composition (5–30% v/v N2/H2), heating rate (0.1–5 K min−1) and isothermal hold (1–7 h at 933 K) on nitride structural properties has been assessed. At ≥ 2 K min−1, β-Mo2N (≤ 15 m2 g−1) consisting of small crystallites (< 5 μm) was generated. At ≤ 0.5 K min−1, γ-Mo2N with a platelet morphology and surface area ≥ 45 m2 g−1 was formed. High GHSV, low N2 feed content and a prolonged isothermal hold served to increase γ-Mo2N area (to 135 m2 g−1). Lower alkene selectivity and a twofold higher specific (per m2) acetylene hydrogenation rate were recorded for β-Mo2N and linked to higher surface Mo/N ratio (from XPS). Olefin selectivity for both nitrides was greater than that reported for Pd catalysts. Moreover, we recorded negligible green oil formation in reactions over γ-Mo2N.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6707–6718
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number9
Early online date22 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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