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J Phys Chem B. 2005 Mar 3;109(8):3575-7.

Stability of nanocrystals: thermodynamic analysis of oxidation and re-reduction of cobalt in water/hydrogen mixtures.

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  • 1Catalysis Research Unit, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa.


The stability of nanosized materials differs significantly from the stability of bulk materials. In this study a thermodynamic analysis on the simultaneous oxidation and re-reduction of small metallic cobalt crystallites in the presence of water and hydrogen as a function of the crystallite diameter was performed as a model for catalyst deactivation in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. It is shown that spherical cobalt crystallites with a diameter less than 4.4 nm are likely to be oxidized under realistic Fischer-Tropsch synthesis conditions (p(H)(2)(O)/p(H)(2) < 1.5, T = 493 K).

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