Is it single-metal homogeneous or polymetallic heterogeneous catalysis? Further investigation of the catalytically active species in benzene hydrogenation beginning with [RhCp*Cl 2] 2 via operando-XAFS, kinetic and poisoning studies

Ercan Bayram, John C. Linehan, Richard G. Finke, John Fulton, John A.S. Roberts, Tricia D. Smurthwaite, Saim Ozkar, Nathaniel K. Szymczak

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


Previous investigation (Hagen et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 4423) for benzene hydrogenation starting with [RhCp*Cl 2] 2 at 100 °C and 50 atm initial H 2 pressure concluded that the true catalyst was most likely Rh(0) nanoparticles on the basis of sigmoidal kinetics, Rh(0) precipitate, and positive Hg(0) poisoning studies. There was, at the time, no other plausible hypothesis for the true catalyst in light of the extant data. Further investigation via operando-XAFS provides a new hypothesis for the active catalyst: ligated Rh 4 sub-nanometer clusters that constitute ∼98% of the total soluble Rh in solution. Kinetics and quantitative poisoning studies support this hypothesis. The results are of significant interest since determining the nature of the true catalyst continues to be a central, often vexing issue, in any and all catalytic reactions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011
Event242nd ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2011Sep 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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