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Mayenite-Based Electride C12A7e−: A Reactivity and Stability Study

Weber, Sebastian; Schäfer, Sebastian; Saccoccio, Mattia; Ortner, Nils; Bertmer, Marko; Seidel, Karsten; Berendts, Stefan; Lerch, Martin; Gläser, Roger; Kohlmann, Holger; Schunk, Stephan A.

Ru supported on mayenite electride, [Ca24Al28O64]4+(e−)4 a calcium aluminum oxide denoted as C12A7e−, are described in the literature as highly active catalysts for ammonia synthesis, especially under conditions of low absolute pressure. In this study, we investigated the application of recently reported plasma arc melting synthesized C12A7e− (aluminum solid reductant) as supports of Ru/C12A7e− catalysts in ammonia synthesis up to pressures of 7.6 MPa. Together with the plasma-arc-melting-based catalyst support, we investigated a similar plasma-synthesized C12A7e− (graphite solid reductant) and a vacuum-sintering-based C12A7e−. Complementary to the catalytic tests, we applied 2H solid-state NMR spectroscopy, DRUVVis-spectroscopy, thermal analysis and PXRD to study and characterize the reactivity of different plasma-synthesized and vacuum-sintered C12A7e− towards H2/D2 and H2O. The catalysts showed an immediate deactivation at pressures > 1 MPa, which can be explained by irreversible hydride formation at higher pressures, as revealed by reactivity tests of C12A7e− towards H2/D2. The direct formation of C12A7:D from C12A7e− is proven. It can be concluded that the application of Ru/C12A7e− catalysts at the industrial scale has limited prospects due to irreversible hydride formation at relevant pressures > 1 MPa. Furthermore, we report an in-depth study relating to structural changes in the material in the presence of H2O.
Published in: Catalysts, 10.3390/catal11030334, MDPI