Eelco Vogt - High-resolution electron tomography study of an industrial Ni-Mo/γ-Al2O3 hydrotreating catalyst

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      De Jong, K.P., Van Den Oetelaar, L.C.A., Vogt, E.T.C., Eijsbouts,   S., Koster, A.J., Friedrich, H., De Jongh, P.E., J. Phys. Chem.   B, 110, 10209-10212,   2006


        The growing demand for high-quality transportation fuels requires   their cost-effective production by hydrodesulfurization of crude   oils using heterogeneous catalysts. To study the   three-dimensional (3D) structure of such a commercial, sulfided   Ni-Mo/γ-Al2O3 catalyst, electron tomography was applied. The MoS2   particles form an interconnected complex structure within the   mesopores of the alumina support. Spatial organization,   morphology, and orientation of the MoS2 particles in the pores   were resolved with sufficient accuracy to display the 6-Å-spaced   MoS2 crystal planes. The proximity of the MoS 2 edge planes and   more loosely interacting MoS2 basal planes to the alumina support   showed the presence of pores smaller than 3 nm, which was   confirmed by physisorption experiments. The actual shape of the   MoS2 particles cannot be described by simple models as derived   from studies on model catalysts. Electron tomography is a unique   tool to study the actual 3D structure of complex industrial   catalysts with sub-nanometer resolution.

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