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Hydrogen generation from hydrolysis of sodium borohydride using Ru(0) nanoclusters as catalyst

Özkar, Saim
Zahmakiran, M
Sodium borohydride is stable in aqueous alkaline solution, however, it hydrolyses in water to hydrogen gas in the presence of suitable catalyst. By this way hydrogen can be generated safely for the fuel cells. Generating H-2 catalytically from NaBH4 solutions has many advantages: NaBH4 solutions are nonflammable, reaction products are environmentally benign, rate of H-2 generation is easily controlled, the reaction product NaBO2 can be recycled, H-2 can be generated even at low temperatures. All of the catalysts that has been used in hydrolysis of sodium borohydride are bulk metals and they act as heterogeneous catalysts. The limited surface area of the heterogeneous catalysts causes lower catalytic activity as the activity of catalyst is directly related to its surface area. Thus, the use of metal nanoparticles with large surface area provides potential route to increase the catalytic activity. Here, we report, for the first time, the use of ruthenium(0) nanoclusters as catalyst in the hydrolysis of sodium borohydride liberating hydrogen gas. The ruthenium nanoparticles are generated from the reduction of ruthenium(III) chloride by sodium borohydride in water and stabilized by specific ligand. The ruthenium(0) nanoclusters are found to be highly active catalyst for the hydrolysis of sodium borohydride.