A new method is described in which dramatic increases in catalytic activity are obtained after a Ni wire catalyst is subjected to relatively high applied electrostatic potentials. The potentials are applied under what is basically an open circuit arrangement in that the Ni wire is biased either positively or negatively with respect to an aluminum cylinder located outside the reactor. Activation is observed only when the Ni wire is biased negatively with respect to the Al cylinder. This activation and, in some cases, catalytic regeneration is believed to arise from the combined effect of high field gradients and small leakage currents generated during high potential application. The activation effect is demonstrated for hydrogenolysis of C2H6 and C2H4 on a Ni wire catalyst. The activation procedure described represents a direct, in situ, relatively inexpensive approach to improved catalytic efficiency. This method may well find utility in many other catalytic systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry