The catalytic activities of supported metal nanoparticles can be tuned by appropriate design of synthesis strategies. Each step in a catalyst synthesis method can play an important role in preparing the most efficient catalyst. Here we report the careful manipulation of the post-synthetic heat treatment procedure—together with control over the metal loading—to prepare a highly efficient 0.2 wt% Pt/TiO2 catalyst for the chemoselective hydrogenation of 3-nitrostyrene. For Pt/TiO2 catalysts with 0.2 and 0.5 wt% loading levels, reduction at 450 °C induces the coverage of TiOx over Pt nanoparticles through a strong metal–support interaction, which is detrimental to their catalytic activities. However, this can be avoided by following calcination treatment with reduction (both at 450 °C), allowing us to prepare an exceptionally active catalyst. Detailed characterization has revealed that the peripheral sites at the Pt/TiO2 interface are the most likely active sites for this hydrogenation reaction.
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Information on the data supporting the results presented here, including how to access them, can be found in the Cardiff University data catalogue at https://doi.org/10.17035/d.2017.0033515199.
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M.M. and A.J.B. acknowledge MAXNET Energy consortium for funding. A.J.B. also acknowledges the EPRSC Centre for Doctoral Training in Catalysis (grant no. EP/L016443/1). M.S. and Q.H. thank Cardiff University for their respective University Research Fellowships and RQ acknowledges Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) funding for his stay at Cardiff University. C.J.K. gratefully acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation programme (grant no. MRI/DMR-1040229). S.M.A. thanks the Saudi Arabian government for his PhD scholarship. The authors thank the UK Catalysis Hub for allocating beamtime slots through the UK Catalysis Hub BAG allocation for X-ray acquisition of the absorption spectroscopic data at the Diamond synchrotron facility (sp15151). We are also indebted to P. Wells for acquisition of the X-ray absorption spectroscopic data at the Diamond synchrotron facility. We thank Y. Odarchenko for his assistance during CO chemisorption measurements. The authors thank the Diamond Light Source for access to the electron Physical Science Imaging Centre (ePSIC instrument E01 and proposal no. MG22776), which contributed to the results presented here.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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