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Highly active, robust and reusable micro-/mesoporous TiN/Si3N4 nanocomposite-based catalysts for clean energy: Understanding the key role of TiN nanoclusters and amorphous Si3N4 matrix in the performance of the catalyst system

2020-09-05
Lale, Abhijeet
Mallmann, Maira Debarba
Tada, Shotaro
Bruma, Alina
Özkar, Saim
Kumar, Ravi
Haneda, Masaaki
Machado, Ricardo Antonio Francisco
Iwamoto, Yuji
Demirci, Umit B.
Bernard, Samuel
Herein, we developed a precursor approach toward the design of a titanium nitride (TiN)/silicon nitride (Si3N4) nanocomposite with an activated carbon monolith as a support matrix forming a highly micro-/mesoporous component to be used as a Pt support for the catalytic hydrolysis of sodium borohydride (NaBH4) as a model reaction. The experimental data demonstrated that the amorphous Si3N4 matrix, the strong Pt-TiN nanocluster interaction and the synergistic effects between the three components contributed to the improved performance of the catalyst system. Thus, the use of this TiN/Si3N4 nanocomposite allowed to significantly reducing the noble metal loading (only similar to 1 wt% of Pt) for the complete and fast dehydrogenation of NaBH4 under alkaline conditions at 80 degrees C. Additionally, the catalytic system displayed an excellent robustness and durability to offer reusability without collapsing and performance decrease under the harsh conditions imposed by the reaction.