Mild Ammonia Synthesis over Ba-Promoted Ru/MPC Catalysts: Effects of the Ba/Ru Ratio and the Mesoporous Structure
A series of novel mesoporous carbon-supported, Ba-promoted, Ru catalysts with Ba/Ru ratios of 0.1–1.6 and a Ru loading of 10 wt% (denoted as 0.1–1.6Ba-10Ru/MPC) were prepared via stepwise impregnation of Ru and Ba precursors on the mesoporous carbon materials. The catalysts were applied to mild ammonia synthesis and compared to reference materials, including an analog of the prepared catalyst with a Ba/Ru ratio of 1.6 and a Ru loading of 10 wt% (denoted as 1.6Ba-10Ru/AC). Characterization by
... racterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen physisorption, and electronic microscopy revealed that the 0.1–1.6Ba-10Ru/MPC catalysts contained Ru particles (approximately 2 nm) that were well-dispersed on the mesoporous structure and nanostructured Ba(NO3)2 species. These species decomposed into amorphous BaOx species, acting as a promoter on the metallic Ru particles forming catalytically active sites for ammonia synthesis. All the 0.1–1.6Ba-10Ru/MPC catalysts showed a synergistic effect of the active Ba and Ru species, which were stabilized in the mesoporous carbon framework with fast molecular diffusion and could effectively catalyze mild ammonia synthesis (280–450 °C and 0.99 MPa) even under intermittently variable conditions, particularly for those with Ba/Ru ratios of >0.5. In contrast, the 1.6Ba-10Ru/AC analog showed poor activity and stability for ammonia synthesis due to the sintering of Ba and Ru particles on the outer surface of the microporous carbon framework, resulting in low molecular diffusion and weak synergistic effect of the catalytically active sites.