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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Nov 21;129(46):14213-23. Epub 2007 Oct 31.

Thermally reduced ruthenium nanoparticles as a highly active heterogeneous catalyst for hydrogenation of monoaromatics.

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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Drive 4, Singapore 117576.


We report here a thermal reduction method for preparing Ru catalysts supported on a carbon substrate. Mesoporous SBA-15 silica, surface-carbon-coated SBA-15, templated mesoporous carbon, activated carbon, and carbon black with different pore structures and compositions were employed as catalyst supports to explore the versatility of the thermal reduction method. Nitrogen adsorption, X-ray diffraction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and X-ray absorption near-edge structure techniques were used to characterize the samples. It was observed that carbon species that could thermally reduce Ru species at high temperatures played a vital role in the reduction process. Ru nanoparticles supported on various carbon-based substrates exhibited good dispersion with an appropriate particle size, high crystallinity, strong resistance against oxidative atmosphere, less leaching, lack of aggregation, and avoidance of pore blocking. As such, these catalysts display a remarkably high catalytic activity and stability in the hydrogenation of benzene and toluene (up to 3-24-fold compared with Ru catalysts prepared by traditional methods). It is believed that the excellent catalytic performance of the thermally reduced Ru nanoparticles is related to the intimate interfacial contact between the Ru nanoparticles and the carbon support.

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