COx-free hydrogen production from ammonia – mimicking the activity of Ru catalysts with unsupported Co-Re alloys
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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On-demand production of hydrogen from ammonia is a challenge limiting the implementation of ammonia as a long term hydrogen vector to overcome the difficulties associated with hydrogen storage. Herein, we present the development of catalysts for the on-demand production of hydrogen from ammonia by combining metals with high and low N-adatom adsorption energies. In this way, cobalt-rhenium (Co-Re) catalysts show high activity mimicking that of ruthenium. EXAFS/XANES analyses demonstrate that the bimetallic Co-Re contribution is responsible for the activity and the stability of the catalysts in consecutive runs with no observable formation of nitrides (Co-N and Re-N) occurring under the ammonia atmosphere. While cobalt is partially re-oxidised under ammonia, re-reduction in the presence of rhenium is observed at higher temperatures, coinciding with the on-set of catalytic activity which is accompanied by minor structural changes. These results provide insight for the development of highly active alloy based ammonia decomposition catalysts.