Triphenylphosphine: A ligand for heterogeneous catalysis too? Selectivity enhancement in acetylene hydrogenation over modified Pd/TiO2 catalyst

Alan J. McCue, Fiona Mairead McKenna, James A. Anderson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Pd/TiO2 catalysts were modified by exposure to triphenylphosphine to assess the impact of the presence of the ligand on the selective removal of acetylene from ethylene rich feeds. The ligand modified metal created a catalyst which showed significantly improved selectivity as a result of a decrease in the extent of over-hydrogenation of ethylene to ethane. The physical presence of the ligand modifier is thought to create sites which permit adsorption of acetylene but hinder access of ethylene to metal sites. In addition, the rate of acetylene hydrogenation appeared to be enhanced in the presence of the modifier consistent with a promotional effect. A potential contribution to enhanced selectivity due to suppression of sub-surface hydrogen formation/diffusion cannot be discounted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2449-2459
Number of pages11
JournalCatalysis Science & Technology
Issue number4
Early online date9 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis

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