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Gold-palladium nanoparticles achieve greener, smarter production of hydrogen peroxide
Date:2/19/2009

ly reduced by depositing gold-palladium nanoparticles on a high-surface-area carbon support that has first been washed with nitric acid. The pretreatment decreases the average size of the particles from a range of 2 to 70 nanometers (1 nm equals one-billionth of a meter) to a range of 2 to 25 nm. The washing also results in a more effective spatial distribution of the nanoparticles, enabling them to block the active sites on the carbon support that are responsible for the decomposition of H2O2.

"We learned that neither the concentration of the nitric acid nor the length of time of the washing was important," says Kiely. "What was important was to wash the support in nitric acid before putting the gold-palladium nanoparticles on it. The resulting change in particle size and distribution enables us to retain a lot more of the hydrogen peroxide and to make the direct process more economically viable."

The Science article, titled "Switching Off Hydrogen Peroxide Hydrogenation in the Direct Synthesis Process," was coauthored by Kiely, Graham J. Hutchings, Jennifer K. Edwards, Benjamin Solsona, Edwin Ntainjua N, Albert F. Carley and Andrew A. Herzing.

Hutchings, the lead author, is the director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) in the UK. Edwards, Solsona, Ntainjua N and Carley are members of the CCI. Herzing, who earned a Ph.D. from Lehigh in 2006, operates the aberration-corrected electron microscopy facilities in the Surface and Microanalysis Science Division of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Kiely directs the Nanocharacterization Laboratory in Lehigh's Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

The group owes its current success to Hutchings' expertise in catalysis and to his longstanding collaboration with Kiely, who has the ability to obtain data using electron microscopes with unmatched imaging and chemical analysis capabilities.

Hutchings and Kiely hav
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Contact: Kurt Pfitzer
kap4@lehigh.edu
610-758-3017
Lehigh University
Source:Eurekalert

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