Silica-Supported PdGa Nanoparticles: Metal Synergy for Highly Active and Selective CO2-to-CH3OH Hydrogenation

Scott R. Docherty, Nat Phongprueksathat, Erwin Lam, Gina Noh, Olga V. Safonova, Atsushi Urakawa, Christophe Copéret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The direct conversion of CO2to CH3OH represents an appealing strategy for the mitigation of anthropogenic CO2emissions. Here, we report that small, narrowly distributed alloyed PdGa nanoparticles, prepared via surface organometallic chemistry from silica-supported GaIIIisolated sites, selectively catalyze the hydrogenation of CO2to CH3OH. At 230 °C and 25 bar, high activity (22.3 molMeOHmolPd-1h-1) and selectivity for CH3OH/DME (81%) are observed, while the corresponding silica-supported Pd nanoparticles show low activity and selectivity. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), IR, NMR, and scanning transmission electron microscopy-energy-dispersive X-ray provide evidence for alloying in the as-synthesized material. In situ XAS reveals that there is a dynamic dealloying/realloying process, through Ga redox, while operando diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy demonstrates that, while both methoxy and formate species are observed in reaction conditions, the relative concentrations are inversely proportional, as the chemical potential of the gas phase is modulated. High CH3OH selectivities, across a broad range of conversions, are observed, showing that CO formation is suppressed for this catalyst, in contrast to reported Pd catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-458
Number of pages9
JournalJACS Au
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 26 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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