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Variation in the Structure and Activity of Commercial Palladium on Carbon Catalysts

revised on 22.12.2020, 10:19 and posted on 23.12.2020, 07:53 by Conor Crawford, Yan Qiao, Yequn Liu, Dongmei Huang, Wenjun Yan, Stefan Oscarson, Shuai Chen

Palladium catalysed hydrogenolysis is often the final step in challenging natural product total synthesis and a key step in industrial processes towards fine chemicals. Here we demonstrate that there is wide variability in quality of commercial sources of palladium on carbon (Pd/C), which results in differences in selectivity, reaction times, and yields. This is established through a combination of XRD, XPS, BET and TEM analysis, this will serve as a template for others to quickly identify a high-quality source of Pd/C catalyst — meaning less time spent on time consuming reaction optimisation studies. Key indicators of a high-quality catalyst include: small particle sizes, large surface area, and the presence of both Pd0 and Pd2+ active species (not present in all commercial sources). Further this work will enable the design and synthesis of new high-quality Pd/C catalysts.


Irish Research Council postgraduate award GOIPG/2016/998

Science Foundation Ireland Award 13/IA/1959


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University College Dublin



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Declaration of Conflict of Interest