Active coke: Carbonaceous materials as catalysts for alkane dehydrogenation

James McGregor, Zhenyu Huang, Edward P.J. Parrott, J. Axel Zeitler, K. Lien Nguyen, Jeremy M. Rawson, Albert Carley, Thomas Willum Hansen, Jean-Philippe Tessonnier, Dang Sheng Su, Detre Teschner, Elaine M. Vass, Axel Knop-Gericke, Robert Schlögl, Lynn F. Gladden

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The catalytic dehydrogenation (DH) and oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of light alkanes are of significant industrial importance. In this work both carbonaceous material deposited on VOx/Al2O3 catalysts during reaction and unsupported carbon nanofibres (CNFs) are shown to be active for the dehydrogenation of butane in the absence of gas-phase oxygen. Their activity in these reactions is shown to be dependent upon their structure, with different reaction temperatures yielding structurally different coke deposits. Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS), among other techniques, has been applied to the characterisation of these deposits – the first time this technique has been employed in coke studies. TEM and other techniques show that coke encapsulates the catalyst, preventing access to VOx sites, without a loss of activity. Studies on CNFs confirm that carbonaceous materials act as catalysts in this reaction. Carbon-based catalysts represent an important new class of potential catalysts for DH and ODH reactions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Pages (from-to)329-339
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Active coke: Carbonaceous materials as catalysts for alkane dehydrogenation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this