Palladium supported on structured and nonstructured carbon: A consideration of Pd particle size and the nature of reactive hydrogen

Claudia Amorim, Mark A. Keane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Citations (Scopus)


This study sets out a comprehensive characterization of bulk Pd and Pd (ca. 8% w/w) supported on activated carbon (AC), graphite and graphitic nanofibers (GNF). Catalyst activation has been examined by temperature programmed reduction (TPR) analysis and the activated catalysts analyzed in terms of BET area, TEM, H2 chemisorption/TPD, and XRD measurements. While H2 chemisorption and TEM delivered the same sequence of increasing (surface area weighted) average Pd particle sizes, a significant difference (by up to a factor of 3) in the values obtained from both techniques has been recorded and is attributed to an unwarranted (but widely adopted) assumption of an exclusive H2/Pd adsorption stoichiometry = 1 / 2. It is demonstrated that TEM analysis provides a valid mean particle size once it is established that the associated standard deviation is small and insensitive to additional particle counting. XRD line broadening yielded an essentially equivalent Pd size (20-25 nm) for each supported catalyst. The nature of the hydrogen associated with the supported catalysts has been probed and is shown to comprise of chemisorbed (on Pd), spillover (on the carbon support), and hydride (associated with Pd) species. Physical mixtures of bulk Pd + support (AC, graphite, and GNF) were also considered in order to assess hydrogen spillover by H2 TPD analysis. Generation of spillover hydrogen at room temperature is established where temperatures in excess of 740 K are required for effective desorption from the supported Pd catalysts, i.e., 280 K higher than that required for the desorption of chemisorbed hydrogen. Pd hydride formation (at room temperature) is shown to be reversible with decomposition occurring at ca. 380 K. Taking the hydrodechlorination of chlorobenzene as a test reaction, the capability of Pd hydride to promote a hydrogen scission of C-Cl in the absence of an external supply of H2 is demonstrated with a consequent consumption of the hydride. This catalytic response was entirely recoverable once the Pd hydride was replenished during a subsequent reactivation step. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-208
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


  • Activated carbon
  • Bulk Pd
  • Carbon nanofibers
  • Graphite
  • Hydrodechlorination
  • Palladium hydride
  • Spillover hydrogen
  • Supported Pd


Dive into the research topics of 'Palladium supported on structured and nonstructured carbon: A consideration of Pd particle size and the nature of reactive hydrogen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this