Catalytic behavior of nickel loaded on acid-activated and pillared clay in total gas-phase oxidation of ethanol

  • Nadjat Lahoues-ChakourEmail author
  • Siham Barama
  • Akila BaramaEmail author
  • Brahim Djellouli
  • Cyril Domingos
  • Anne Davidson
Research Paper


Layered and acid-activated clays, used as catalytic support, were synthesized from natural Algerian montmorillonite. All supports were prepared by (1) pillaring with aquo/hydroxo/oxo Al clusters, in particular Al13 that contains only octahedral Al-species, (2) an acidic H2SO4 treatment, and (3) combined pillaring + acid treatment. Five and 10 wt% of active Ni species are deposited by impregnation. The obtained catalysts are characterized by XRD, SAXS (structure), N2 sorption, SEM (texture), XRF (chemical composition), FTIR (to evidence Al13 clusters), and H2-TPR (to distinguish NiO and other Ni-containing species). The activity is measured for the gas-phase total oxidation of ethanol, which is a highly reactive volatile organic molecule. The acid activation pretreatment affects the clay (montmorillonite sheets) because of its delamination (exfoliation) associated with a decreased number of superposed sheets seen in XRD, SEM, and a decreased Si/Al ratio observed by XRF. The d001 spacing in XRD increases from 11.70 (before pillaring) to 18.24 Å (after pillaring) evidencing the inclusion of hydroxylaluminic cations and water in the inter-sheets space. d001 = 17.50 Å has already been reported with less dealuminated pillared clays. The 10% Ni-loaded pillared clay is the best catalyst (giving up to 100% of conversion) for ethanol total oxidation at relatively low temperatures (T ≤ 250 °C) and ambient pressure. Thus, pillaring, acidic treatments, and Ni amount are the main factors governing on the changing of textural, structural, and catalytic properties of montmorillonite for ethanol oxidative reaction.


Ethanol oxidation Pillared clays Al13-macrocation Acid activation Montmorillonite Mesoporous silicates Nanostructured catalyst Reducing CO2 emission 



The authors thank the Laboratoire de Réactivité de Surface (Paris, France) and specially Dr. Pascale Massiani for H2-TPR analysis and thank Dr. Saifi Amirouche (Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux of UMMTO, Tizi-ouzou, Algeria) for his help in SEM characterization.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadjat Lahoues-Chakour
    • 1
    Email author
  • Siham Barama
    • 1
  • Akila Barama
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brahim Djellouli
    • 2
  • Cyril Domingos
    • 3
  • Anne Davidson
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratoire Matériaux Catalytiques & Catalyse en Chimie Organique, Faculté de ChimieUSTHBAlgiersAlgeria
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Génie des Procèdes Chimiques, Faculté des Sciences de l’IngénieurUniversité Ferhat Abbas – SétifSetifAlgeria
  3. 3.Institut NEEL CNRS/UGA UPR2940GrenobleFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire de Réactivité de SurfaceSorbonne-Université, CNRSParisFrance

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