Direct observation and modelling of ordered hydrogen adsorption and catalyzed ortho-para conversion on ETS-10 titanosilicate material

Gabriele Ricchiardi, Jenny G. Vitillo, Donato Cocina, Evgueni N. Gribov, Adriano Zecchina

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Hydrogen physisorption on porous high surface materials is investigated for the purpose of hydrogen storage and hydrogen separation, because of its simplicity and intrinsic reversibility. For these purposes, the understanding of the binding of dihydrogen to materials, of the structure of the adsorbed phase and of the ortho-para conversion during thermal and pressure cycles are crucial for the development of new hydrogen adsorbents. We report the direct observation by IR spectroscopic methods of structured hydrogen adsorption on a porous titanosilicate (ETS-10), with resolution of the kinetics of the ortho-para transition, and an interpretation of the structure of the adsorbed phase based on classical atomistic simulations. Distinct infrared signals of o- and p-H 2 in different adsorbed states are measured, and the conversion of o- to p-H2 is monitored over a timescale of hours, indicating the presence of a catalyzed reaction. Hydrogen adsorption occurs in three different regimes characterized by well separated IR manifestations: at low pressures ordered 1: 1 adducts with Na and K ions exposed in the channels of the material are formed, which gradually convert into ordered 2: 1 adducts. Further addition of H2 occurs only through the formation of a disordered condensed phase. The binding enthalpy of the Na+-H2 1: 1 adduct is of -8.7 ± 0.1 kJ mol-1, as measured spectroscopically. Modeling of the weak interaction of H2 with the materials requires an accurate force field with a precise description of both dispersion and electrostatics. A novel three body force field for molecular hydrogen is presented, based on the fitting of an accurate PES for the H2-H 2 interaction to the experimental dipole polarizability and quadrupole moment. Molecular mechanics simulations of hydrogen adsorption at different coverages confirm the three regimes of adsorption and the structure of the adsorbed phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2753-2760
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2007


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