Optimization of hydrogen storage capacity in silica-supported low valent Ti systems exploiting Kubas binding of hydrogen

David Antonelli, Ahmad Hamaed, Tuan K A Hoang, Michel Trudeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


a b s t r a c t Silica-based materials grafted with low valent Ti fragments for Kubas-type binding of hydrogen were optimized for hydrogen adsorption capacity by varying the surface area, pore size, loading levels, and type of organometallic precursor. All materials were characterized by XRD, nitrogen adsorption, and XPS where appropriate. The surface area of HMS silica was optimized by varying silica-to-surfactant molar ratio, and also by tuning the pore size by varying the surfactant’s carbon chain length (C6, C8, C10, C12). Then Ti fragments originating from either benzyl, allyl, or methyl Ti precursors were grafted onto the optimal HMS surface at different loading levels to arrive at Ti grafted HMS materials with H2 storage capacities and binding properties superior to those previously reported by our group for benzyl Ti (III) species on silica. HMS prepared with dodecylamine using a silica:surfactant ratio of 3:1 and subsequently grafted with 0.2 Mequiv. of TiBz4 had the highest H2 adsorption at 2.45 wt% at 77 k and 60 atm, which equates to an average of 3.98 H2 molecule per Ti metal center, just one H2 molecule short of the theoretical saturation limit of 5 H2/Ti predicted by the 18-electron rule. The H2 adsorption capacities of Me3Ti-HMS and Allyl3Ti-HMS prepared using the same optimized sample of C12-HMS silica at a 3:1 Si:surfactant ratio possessed H2 adsorption values corresponding to 2.4 and 2.27 H2 per Ti center, respectively, at 60 atm and 77 K. This performance level is significantly lower than that of the benzyl Ti (III) system. The binding enthalpies of the benzyl Ti (III) material increase with H2 coverage to 23 kJ/mol, while the enthalpies for the newly synthesized Me3Ti-HMS and Allyl3Ti-HMS materials increase with H2 coverage to a maximum of 2.66 and 4.17 kJ/mol, respectively. XPS studies on these materials suggested a trend in p-back donating ability on the Ti (III) centers of methyl andgt; allyl andgt; benzyl, opposite that observed experimentally. The reason for the diminished performance of the allyl and methyl Ti (III) systems may thus be related to the presence of THF ligands blocking coordination sites in the allyl and methyl systems. THF is not present in the benzyl system because this solvent is not required for synthesis. 2009 Elsevier B.V. All
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2793 - 2800
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2009


  • mesoporous silica
  • ti fragments
  • kubas binding
  • adsorption


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimization of hydrogen storage capacity in silica-supported low valent Ti systems exploiting Kubas binding of hydrogen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this