Ethane and propane dehydrogenation over PtIr/Mg(Al)O

Jason Wu, Shaama Mallikarjun Sharada, Chris Ho, Andreas Hauser, Martin Head-Gordon, Alexis T. Bell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increased demand for light alkenes has motivated research on the catalytic dehydrogenation of the light alkanes and on understanding the role of catalyst composition on the activity, selectivity, and stability of Pt-based catalysts used for this purpose. The present study examines the structure and performance of Pt-Ir catalysts for ethane and propane dehydrogenation, and compares them with the performance of Pt and Pt-Sn catalysts. Nanoparticles of Pt, PtSn, and PtIr were prepared in a colloidal suspension and then dispersed onto calcined hydrotalcite (Mg(Al)O). After characterization to confirm formation of a bimetallic alloy, it was observed that at high conversions, Pt3Ir/Mg(Al)O exhibited lower initial activity than Pt3Sn/Mg(Al)O but greater stability to coke deposition. Intrinsic rate measurements at low feed residence time revealed the following trend in activity: Pt3Sn > Pt3Ir > Pt. DFT calculations carried out on tetrahedral clusters (Pt4, Pt3Ir, Pt3Sn) reveals that this trend in activity can be replicated and Ir is capable of alkane activation, a trait unique to this bimetallic system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Catalysis A
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2015


  • Bimetallic alloy
  • Catalyst deactivation
  • Ethane dehydrogenation
  • Iridium
  • Platinum
  • Propane dehydrogenation
  • Tin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethane and propane dehydrogenation over PtIr/Mg(Al)O'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this