XAS investigation of silica aerogel supported cobalt rhenium catalysts for ammonia decomposition
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The implementation of ammonia as a hydrogen vector relies on the development of active catalysts to release hydrogen on-demand at low temperatures. As an alternative to ruthenium-based catalysts, herein we report the high activity of silica aerogel supported cobalt rhenium catalysts. XANES/EXAFS studies undertaken at reaction conditions in the presence of the ammonia feed reveal that the cobalt and rhenium components of the catalyst which had been pre-reduced are initially re-oxidised prior to their subsequent reduction to metallic and bimetallic species before catalytic activity is observed. A synergistic effect is apparent in which this re-reduction step occurs at considerably lower temperatures than for the corresponding monometallic counterpart materials. The rate of hydrogen production via ammonia decomposition was determined to be 0.007 molH2 gcat1 h1 at 450 1C. The current study indicates that reduced Co species are crucial for the development of catalytic activity.