Atomic Layer Deposited Ni/ZrO₂-SiO₂for Combined Capture and Oxidation of VOCs


This work reports on the development of novel Ni nanoparticle-deposited mixed-metal oxides ZrO2-SiO2 through atomic layer deposition (ALD) method and their application in combined capture and oxidation of benzene, as a model compound of aromatic VOCs. Concentrating ppm-level VOCs in situ, before their oxidation, offers a practical approach to reduce the catalyst inventory and capital cost associated with VOC emissions abatement. The benzene vapor adsorption isotherms were measured at 25 °C and in the pressure range of 0 to benzene saturation vapor pressure thereof (0.13 bar). In the combined capture-reaction tests, the materials were first exposed to ca. 86 100 ppmv benzene vapor at 25 °C, followed by desorption and catalytic oxidation while raising the bed temperature to 250 °C. The textural properties revealed that ALD of Ni or ZrO2 on SiO2 decreased surface area and pore volume, while sequential doping with ZrO2 and then Ni caused the otherwise. The benzene vapor adsorption isotherms followed the type-IV isotherm classification, revealing a combination of monolayer-multilayer and capillary condensation adsorption mechanisms in sequence. At saturation vapor pressure, an average equilibrium adsorption capacity of 15 mmol/g was obtained across the materials. However, the dynamic adsorption capacities were up to 50% less than the corresponding equilibrium uptake for the materials. Benzene desorption temperature was observed around 90 °C, and conversion of 85-95% and TOF of 1.28-16.42 mmolC6H6/molNi/s were obtained over the materials, with 3Ni/ZrO2-SiO2, prepared with 3 ALD cycles, exhibiting the maximum conversion and TOF indicating synergistic effects of Ni nanoparticles and ZrO2 support based on the number of ALD cycles. However, the yields of CO2 and H2O were about 5% and 40%, respectively. The small value of the CO2 yield was hypothesized to be due to simultaneous high-temperature adsorption of CO2 as the catalytic reaction progressed. The high adsorption affinity, low desorption temperature, and high catalytic activity of the materials investigated in this study made these materials as promising candidates for the abatement of BTX.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


The authors thank the National Science Foundation (NSF CBET-1802049) for financially supporting this project.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1944-8244; 1944-8252

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

10 Aug 2020

PubMed ID