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Design of PtZn nanoalloy catalysts for propane dehydrogenation through interface tailoring via atomic layer deposition

Ingale, Piyush; Knemeyer, Kristian; Preikschas, Phil; Ye, Mengyang; Geske, Michael; Naumann d’Alnoncourt, Raoul; Thomas, Arne; Rosowski, Frank

BasCat Joint Lab

Supported Pt nanoparticles are widely used for the catalytic dehydrogenation of propane to propene. Monometallic Pt catalysts are subject to fast deactivation. A successful strategy for stabilization is alloying Pt with a second metal. In this study, we present a novel approach for the precise formation of bimetallic nanoparticles via tailoring of the interface between metal nanoparticles and the support. An ultra-thin functional layer of ZnO is deposited via atomic layer deposition on SiO2. The supported Pt nanoparticles undergo a phase transformation and form Pt1Zn1 alloy nanoparticles under reductive thermal treatment. The resulting Pt1Zn1 catalyst showed a high and stable selectivity to propene over 12 hours of time on stream. The activity of the Pt1Zn1 catalyst was 1.5 times higher than that of a catalyst of the same composition prepared by incipient wetness impregnation. The nanoalloy formation causes electronic and geometric modification of Pt which reduces side reactions and leads to a stable and active propane dehydrogenation catalyst.