Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Donna A. Chen


In this project, the hydrogenation activity of palladium (Pd) particles supported on different carbon and oxide supports was investigated. Supported Pd particles were prepared using strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) technique, which is known to produce metal particles with narrow and uniform distribution. The scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and chemisorption methods were used to characterize the Pd particle size in this project. The Pd particles on different supports were annealed at a specific temperature, and the particle size was studied as a function of annealing temperature. Propylene hydrogenation to propane was conducted in a flow reactor to evaluate the catalytic performance. The smaller Pd particles were more active than the larger particles toward the hydrogenation reaction on all supports, and Pd particles on the graphene nanoplatelets were more active than on other supports. It was observed that smaller Pd particles on the carbon supports were decorated with carbon. The enhanced activity of particles supported on graphene nanoplatelets and its comparison to other catalysts as a function of particle size were studied in this project.

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Chemistry Commons