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New Progress in Gold Catalysis
  Author:Qinggang Liu   Date:10/11/2015 Visited: 936

Recently, our group, in collaboration with Prof. Xinkui Wang from Dalian University of Technology, has made new progress in gold catalysis. We report a novel Schiff base functionalized gold catalyst, which was firstly used in the pure formic acid dehydrogenation and showed excellent catalytic performances without any additives. The record turnover frequency (TOF) was as high as 2882 h-1 in 99% formic acid at a mild temperature of 50 oC. The unusual performance can be attributed to the synergistic mechanism between the Schiff base and gold nanoparticles at the interface, as well as the formed encapsulating structure of gold nanoparticles which significantly increased the interfacial area. The work has been recently published in Energy & Environmental Science (Energy & Environmental Science, 2015, 8, 3204-3207).

Formic acid, a natural biomass and also accessible via CO2 reduction, has attracted tremendous attention as a safe and convenient hydrogen carrier in fuel cells designed for portable use. However, efficient heterogeneous catalysis for H2 production from formic acid dehydrogenation could only be achieved with the presence of additives, such as triethylamine and formate, or at a low concentration of formic acid (generally less than 1 M), which will not only decrease its hydrogen storage capacity, but also restrict its application in fuel cells due to the traces of amines volatilized. The successful application of the Schiff base modified gold catalyst for high-concentration FA dehydrogenation, will promise a new understanding of gold chemistry and pave the way for rational design of new types of catalysts for energy storage and evolution by formic acid.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the Key Research Programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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