Spongy chalcogels of non-platinum metals act as effective hydrodesulfurization catalysts

Santanu Bag, Amy F. Gaudette, Mark E. Bussell, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Aerogels are low-density porous materials, made mostly of air, for which hundreds of applications have been found in recent years. Inorganic oxide-based aerogels have been known for a long time, carbon aerogels were discovered in the early 1990s and sulfur- and selenium-based aerogels (chalcogels) are the most recent additions to this family. Here we present new aerogels made of Co(Ni)-Mo(W)-S networks with extremely large surface areas and porosity. These systems are formed by the coordinative reactions of (MoS 4) 2 and (WS 4) 2 with Co 2 and Ni 2 salts in non-aqueous solvents. We show that these low-density sponge-like networks can absorb conjugated organic molecules and mercury ions, and preferentially adsorb CO 2 over H 2, which illustrates their high potential as gas-separation media. The chalcogels are shown to be twice as active as the conventional sulfided Co-Mo/Al 2 O 3 catalyst for the hydrodesulfurization of thiophene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalNature chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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