MnOx-Promoted pdAg alloy nanoparticles for the additive-free dehydrogenation of formic acid at room temperature
Formic acid (HCOOH) has a great potential as a safe and a convenient hydrogen carrier for fuel cell applications. However, efficient and CO-free hydrogen production through the decomposition of formic acid at low temperatures (<363 K) in the absence of additives constitutes a major challenge. Herein, we present a new heterogeneous catalyst system composed of bimetallic PdAg alloy and MnOx nanoparticles supported on amine-grafted silica facilitating the liberation of hydrogen at room temperature through the dehydrogenation of formic acid in the absence of any additives with remarkable activity (330 mol H2·mol catalyst-1·h-1) and selectivity (>99%) at complete conversion (>99%). Moreover this new catalytic system enables facile catalyst recovery and very high stability against agglomeration, leaching, and CO poisoning. Through a comprehensive set of structural and functional characterization experiments, mechanistic origins of the unusually high catalytic activity, selectivity, and stability of this unique catalytic system are elucidated. Current heterogeneous catalytic architecture presents itself as an excellent contender for clean hydrogen production via room-temperature additive-free dehydrogenation of formic acid for on-board hydrogen fuel cell applications.