Henry, William P.

Committee Member

Foster, Stephen C.

Committee Member

Gwaltney, Steven R.

Committee Member

Zhang, Dongmao

Committee Member

Mlsna, Todd E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


Stable dinuclear complexes bis(heptane-2,4,6-trionato)dicopper(II) [Cu2(daa)2], bis(1,5-diphenyl-1,3,5-pentanetrionato)dicopper(II) [Cu2(dba)2], bis(1,5-diphenyl-1,3,5-pentanetrionato)dicobalt(II) [Co2(dba)2], and [6,11-dimethyl-7,10-diazahexadeca-5,11-diene-2,4,13,15-tetranato(4-)-N7N10O4O13;O2O4O13O15] copper(II)cobalt(II) [(CuCo(daaen)] were supported on Cab-O-Sil by the batch impregnation technique. The supported samples were characterized by UV-Vis, elemental analysis, X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Elemental analysis and TGA data confirm that the Cu2(daa)2 complex loses one of its coordinated ligands upon adsorption onto silica in THF at greater than 4.43 wt% Cu loading. By contrast, at all Cu loadings the Cu2(dba)2 complex was adsorbed on the silica surface in CH2Cl2 without loss of ligand. XRD and DRIFTS results confirmed the formation of Cu2(dba)2 multilayer films on the Cab-O-Sil surface for samples containing greater than 2.64 wt% copper. The dinuclear cobalt complex and copper-cobalt complex also do not lose their coordination ligands upon adsorption on the surface. These two metal complexes are amorphous and did not produce XRD patterns. However, DRIFTS results confirm that the binuclear cobalt complex and the copper-cobalt complex begin forming multilayer films between 1.21and 2.53 wt% Cu. The Cu2(dba)2/silica precatalysts were subsequently converted to the catalysts by decomposing the organic ligands at 450 degrees Celsius followed by activation with 2% H2 at 250 degrees Celsius and were evaluated for methanol synthesis and methanol decomposition reactions. Kinetic studies demonstrated that the 3.70% Cu/silica[Cu2(dba)2] catalyst is more active for methanol decomposition than it is for methanol synthesis. The supported dinuclear cobalt and copper-cobalt precatalysts were converted to the catalyst by heating at 450 degrees Celsius followed by activation of the catalysts with 50% H2. Four different catalysts, 3.5% Co/silica[Co2(dba)2], 6.7% Co/silica[Co2(dba)2], 2.3% Co/silica[CuCo(daaen)], and 5.5% Co/silica[Co2(daa)2] were evaluated for the Fischer-Tropsch reaction at 350 degrees Celsius in a batch reactor. The supported binuclear cobalt catalyst produced C1-C7 alkanes and a significant amount of CO2. By contrast, the catalyst formed from heterobinuclear CuCo(daaen) showed the ability to convert syngas to aromatics with a narrow product distribution. In addition, the 6.7% Co/silica[Co2(dba)2] multilayer catalysts have above 98% conversion rates and 60% liquid hydrocarbon selectivity in a flow reactor.



Methanol synthesis and decomposition||Batch impregnation technique||Fischer-tropsch||Silica supported catalyst