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J Phys Chem B. 2007 Dec 27;111(51):14285-9. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Spectroscopic studies of dehydrogenation of ammonia borane in carbon cryogel.

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Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, 302 Roberts Hall, Box 352120, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Ammonia borane (AB) is of great interest for storing hydrogen, an important issue in the growing field of hydrogen technology. The reaction pathways leading to the thermal decomposition of solid-state AB incorporated in carbon cryogels (CC) have been studied by spectroscopic methods. The time-dependent thermal decomposition was followed by in situ 11B nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and showed a significant increase in hydrogen release kinetics for AB in CC compared to neat AB. Both 11B NMR and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy show a new reaction product, formed in the thermal decomposition of AB in CC scaffold (CC-AB) that is assigned to reactions with surface oxygen groups. The results indicate that incorporation of AB in CC enhances kinetics because of the reactions with residual surface-bound oxygen functional groups. The formation of new products with surface -O-B bonds is consistent with the greater reaction exothermicity observed when hydrogen is released from CC-AB materials. Scanning electron microscopy shows different morphology of AB in CC-AB nanocomposite as compared to neat AB.


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