Cobalt, a reactive metal in releasing hydrogen from sodium borohydride by hydrolysis: A short review and a research perspective

Umit B. Demirci, Ouardia Akdim, Julien Hannauer, Rita Chamoun, Philippe Miele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Cobalt is commonly admitted as being a promising catalyst in accelerating NaBH4 hydrolysis, being as reactive as noble metals and much more cost-effective. This is the topic of the present paper. Herein, we survey (i) the NaBH4-devoted literature while especially focusing on the Co catalysts and (ii) our work on the same topic. Finally, we report (iii) reactivity results of newly developed Co-based catalysts. From both surveys, it mainly stands out that Co has been investigated as catalysts in various forms: namely, as chlorides, reduced nanoparticles (metal Co, Co boride, Co-B alloy), supported over supports and shaped. In doing so the reactivity can be easily varied achieving H2 generation rates from few to >1000 L(H 2)/min•g (metal). Nevertheless, our work can be distinguished from the NaBH4 literature. Indeed, we are working on strategies that focus on making alternative Co-based catalysts. One of these strategies is illustrated here as we report new reactivity data of Co-based bimetallic supported catalysts. For example, we show that 20 wt% Co90Y 10/γAl2O3-20 wt% Co95Hf 5/γAl2O3 > 20 wt% Co 99Zr1/γAl2O3 > 20 wt% Co/γAl2O3, the best catalysts showing HGRs of about 245 mL(H2)/min or 123 L(H2)/min•g (metals).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1870-1879
Number of pages10
JournalScience China Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • bimetallic catalyst
  • cobalt
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • hydrogen
  • hydrolysis
  • sodium borohydride
  • sodium tetrahydroborate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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