Transition metal-decorated activated carbon catalysts for dehydrogenation of NaAlH 4

Sean S.Y. Lin, Jun Yang, Harold H. Kung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Dehydrogenation of NaAlH 4 can be greatly facilitated by activated carbon catalysts. The catalytic function can be further enhanced by decorating the carbon with Co, Ni, or Cu nanoparticles. The decomposition temperature was lowered by as much as 100 °C using a 3 wt.% Co or Ni-decorated activated carbon, comparable to a Ti-based catalyst, which were the most effective among the metals tested. The catalytic effect is likely due to a combination of hydrogen spillover effect, high contact area between carbon and the hydride, and confinement of the hydride as nano-sized domains in the pores of the carbon matrix. The catalysts were also effective in facilitating rehydrogenation of NaAlH 4 under moderate pressure (75.8 bar H 2) and low temperature (120 °C), when no rehydrogenation would occur without the catalyst. The fact that this new catalyst system is not specific to any hydride offers many potential applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2737-2741
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Carbon
  • Catalyst
  • Dehydrogenation
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Sodium aluminum hydride
  • Spillover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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