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A ‘liquid’ platinum catalyst outperforms solids at low temperature

By Gerald Ondrey |

Platinum is widely used for many catalytic reactions, and because the precious metal is so expensive, efforts have been ongoing to reduce the amount of Pt required to perform reactions. Among these efforts are the use of nano-dispersions, clusters and even single atoms on different supports. Now, researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW; Sydney, Australia; www.unsw.edu.au), in collaboration with scientists from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT; Australia), Deakin University (Victoria, Australia) and the University of California at Los Angeles, have demonstrated, for the first time, a new way to support platinum catalysts that significantly reduces the amount of Pt required to catalyze reactions — even at low temperature. The concept — described in a June issue of Nature Chemistry — is to dissolve traces of liquid Pt into a solvent-like gallium matrix. Because Ga melts at around 30°C, this liquid-supported Pt catalyst can be used at low temperatures. The Pt atoms in the Pt-Ga system were shown to remain atomically dispersed without segregation, as well as being free to move through the liquid via diffusion. This dynamic property of the Pt in Ga was demonstrated, both by simulations and by experiments…
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