Silica supported cobalt, palladium and cobalt-palladium bimetallic catalysts were prepared by sol/gel technique and characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES). The CO hydrogenation and low temperature methane activation under non-oxidative condition were used as test reactions. It was established that, in contrast to other Pd-Co systems, bimetallic particles were not formed, only a part of cobalt was reduced in the presence of palladium and the cobalt was segregated to the catalyst surface. In the CO hydrogenation over a catalyst with the ratio of Co/Pd = 2, a synergism was observed, while over cobalt and palladium catalysts alone lower activities were measured. Over pure cobalt sample, which has a limited reducibility, only short chain hydrocarbons, mainly alkenes, are formed, whereas in the presence of palladium (sites for enhanced hydrogen activation), the amount of alkanes increased. The limited reducibility of the cobalt was explained by the small particle size due to the preparation technique. Palladium acts in the bimetallic system not only as a component, facilitating cobalt reduction, but as a source of hydrogen participating in the reaction.
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