For application to ammonia dehydrogenation, novel Ru-based heterogeneous catalysts, Ru-N-C and Ru-C, were synthesized via simple pyrolysis of a mixture of RuCl3·6H2O and carbon black with or without dicyandiamide as a nitrogen-containing precursor at 550 °C. Characterization of the prepared Ru-N-C and Ru-C catalysts via scanning transmission electron microscopy, in conjunction with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, indicated the formation of hollow nanocomposites in which the average sizes of the Ru nanoparticles were 1.3nm and 5.1nm, respectively. Compared to Ru-C, the Ru-N-C nanocomposites not only proved to be highly active for ammonia dehydrogenation, giving rise to a NH3 conversion of >99% at 550 °C, but also exhibited high durability. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that the Ru active sites in Ru-N-C were electronically perturbed by the incorporated nitrogen atoms, which increased the Ru electron density and ultimately enhanced the catalyst activity.
- Fuel cell
- Hollow graphitic structure