Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics

, Volume 29, Issue 17, pp 14971–14980 | Cite as

Facile synthesis of Cu nanoparticles on different morphology ZrO2 supports for catalytic hydrogen generation from ammonia borane

  • Jianjun ZhuEmail author
  • Lirong Ma
  • Jin Feng
  • Tianli Geng
  • Wei WeiEmail author
  • Jimin Xie


In this paper, the X% Cu–ZrO2 (X = 0, 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20) xerogel catalysts have been successfully synthesized via a facile two-step approach involving epoxide-driven sol–gel method followed by chemical reduction. The series xerogel catalysts were characterized using XRD, SEM–EDS, TEM, XPS, H2-TPR, N2 adsorption–desorption and FT-IR. The results showed that the morphologies of ZrO2 partly have changed from bulk to nanorods with the increase in Cu loading from 0 to 20%. The catalysts exerted Cu content-dependent activities towards the catalytic hydrolysis of ammonia borane (AB). Among them, the 15% Cu–ZrO2 showed the best catalytic activity that the maximum hydrogen generation rate was 0.384 mol min−1. The hydrolysis reaction towards AB was proved to the first order by the 15% Cu–ZrO2 xerogel by kinetic studies. The activation energy was calculated to be 22.34 kJ mol−1. Even after five recycle experiment, the catalysts also showed a good recycle stability in aqueous solution.



We acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21607063, 21676129), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M630530), the Science & Technology Foundation of Zhenjiang (GY2017001).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Provincial Xuzhou Pharmaceutical Vocational CollegeXuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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