The hydrodesulfurization (HDS) activity of molybdenum sulfide-based catalysts is localized to the edges of this layered solid and is, therefore, highly dependent on the technique used to prepare the material. Here, ultrasonic spray pyrolysis (USP) was used to synthesize porous, nanostructured MoS2. Low surface area powders, not useful for catalysis, are generally produced by USP. This work shows that when combined with a dissolvable template, USP is capable of producing high surface area materials. An aqueous solution of ammonium tetrathiomolybdate and colloidal silica was nebulized and pyrolyzed to give a MoS2/SiO2 composite material. Leaching with HF removed the sacrificial SiO2, resulting in a highly porous MoS2 network with surface areas as high as 250 m2/g. Cobalt-promoted MoS2 networks were also synthesized. The thiophene HDS activities of these materials were substantially higher than those of unsupported MoS2 and RuS2 standards, illustrating the enhanced dispersion of the HDS active phase achieved by this synthetic technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry