The characterisation of hydrogen on nickel and cobalt catalysts

Alisha L. Davidson, David Lennon, Paul B. Webb, Peter W. Albers, Monika Berweiler, René Poss, Meike Roos, Arne Reinsdorf, Dorit Wolf, Stewart F. Parker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


We have investigated a series of supported and unsupported nickel and cobalt catalysts, principally using neutron vibrational spectroscopy (inelastic neutron scattering, INS). For an alumina supported Ni catalyst we are able to detect hydrogen on the metal for the first time, all previous work has used Raney Ni. For an unsupported Ni foam catalyst, which has similar behaviour to Raney Ni but with a much lower density, the spectra show that there are approximately equal numbers of (100) and (111) sites, in contrast to Raney Ni that shows largely (111) sites. The observation of hydrogen on cobalt catalysts proved to be extremely challenging. In order to generate a cobalt metal surface, reduction in hydrogen at 250–300 °C is required. Lower temperatures result in a largely hydroxylated surface. The spectra show that on Raney Co (and probably also on a Co foam catalyst), hydrogen occupies a threefold hollow site, similar to that found on Co(101¯0). The reduced surface is highly reactive: transfers between cells in a high quality glovebox were sufficient to re-hydroxylate the surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-659
Number of pages16
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Issue number9
Early online date19 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Cobalt
  • Nickel
  • Fischer-Tropsch
  • Inelastic neutron scattering


Dive into the research topics of 'The characterisation of hydrogen on nickel and cobalt catalysts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this