Implications of Ga Promotion and Metal-Oxide Interfaces in Tailored Propane Dehydrogenation Catalysts Supported on Carbon

06 September 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Propane Dehydrogenation is a key technology, where Pt-based catalysts have widely been investigated in industry and academia, with development exploring the use of promoters (Sn, Zn, Ga, etc.) and additives (Na, K, Ca, Si, etc.) towards improved catalytic performances. Recent studies have focused on the role of Ga promotion: while computations suggest that Ga plays a key role in enhancing catalytic selectivity and stability of PtGa catalysts through Pt-site isolation as well as morphological changes, experimental evidence are lacking because of the use of oxide supports that prevent more detailed investigation. Here, we develop a methodology to generate Pt and PtGa nanoparticles with tailored interfaces on carbon supports by combining surface organometallic chemistry (SOMC) and specific thermolytic molecular precursors containing or not siloxide ligands. This approach enables the preparation of supported nanoparticles, exhibiting or not an oxide interface, suitable for state-of-the art electron microscopy and XANES characterization. We show that the introduction of Ga enables the formation of homogenously alloyed, amorphous PtGa nanoparticles, in sharp contrast to highly crystalline monometallic Pt nanoparticles. Furthermore, the presence of an oxide interface is shown to stabilize the formation of small particles, at the expense of propene selectivity loss (formation of cracking side-products, methane/ethene), explaining the use of additives such as Na, K and Ca in industrial catalysts.


Electron Microscopy
Propane Dehydrogenation

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Additional Data


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