Indexed on: 08 Jul '15Published on: 08 Jul '15Published in: ChemSusChem
Fe nanoparticles (∼10 nm), used to grow carbon nanotubes (CNTs), have an outstanding ability to catalyze the dehydrogenation of LiAlH4 . The CNTs help connect Fe and LiAlH4 and create microchannels among the composite, thus promoting the release of hydrogen. Inspired by these results, a supercritical-CO2 -fluid-assisted deposition technique is employed to decorate the Fe/CNTs with highly dispersed nanosized Ni (∼2 nm in diameter) for better performance. With the incorporation of 10 wt % of this hierarchical catalyst (Ni/Fe/CNTs), the initial dehydrogenation temperature of LiAlH4 is decreased from ∼135 to ∼40 °C. At 100 °C, this catalyzed LiAlH4 takes only ∼0.1 h to release 4.5 wt % hydrogen, which is more than 100 times faster than the time needed with pristine LiAlH4 . The dehydrogenation mechanism of the complex hydride is examined using in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction.