Mesoporous silica supported cobalt catalysts for hydrogen generation in hydrolysis of ammonia borane

Yi Chia Luo, Yi Hsin Liu, Yann Hung, Xiao Yan Liu, Chung Yuan Mou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Mesoporous silica supported cobalt boride (Co-B) catalysts are rationally designed for hydrogen generation in ammonia-borane hydrolysis reactions under ambient conditions. Cobalt boride catalysts are supported on three different mesoporous silica, including beta-zeolite seeded MCM-41 (Co@M41S) and traditional MCM-41 (Co@M41T) via chemical adsorption onto functionalized surface with 3-trihydroxysilylpropylmethylphosphonate (THPMP), and one-step co-precipitation into mesoporous silica framework (Co@M41C). Our preparation strategies provide two insights to the reactions: first, cobalt oxide species are intrinsically deposited as ultra-small nanoparticles (<2 nm) on mesoporous silica supports; subsequently the nanoparticles are converted to active Co-B catalysts by reduction with sodium borohydride (SB). Three catalysts exhibit significant differences in catalytic reactivities with hydrogen production rates ranked in an order of Co@M41S > Co@M41T > Co@M41C. Detailed analysis of the coordination environments from in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) results confirm reducibility in SB. Amorphous nature of Co-B catalysts are responsible for efficient catalytic activity in Co@M41S and Co@M41T. Ammonia temperature programmed desorption (NH3-TPD) demonstrates support acidity that correlates to the degree of high dispersity and effective reducibility to Co-B. Effects from catalyst sizes, reducibility in SB treatment and surface acidity are studied in detail to compare catalytic reactivities among three types of supports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7280-7290
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun 18
Externally publishedYes


  • Ammonia-borane
  • Hydrogen generation
  • Hydrolysis
  • MCM-41 acidity
  • Supported Co-B catalyst
  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mesoporous silica supported cobalt catalysts for hydrogen generation in hydrolysis of ammonia borane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this