Unraveling the promoter role of Ba in Co–Ce catalysts for ammonia decomposition using microkinetic modeling

Gontzal Lezcano, Natalia Realpe, Shekhar R. Kulkarni, Salvador Sayas, Jose Cerrillo, Natalia Morlanes, Hend O. Mohamed, Vijay K. Velisoju, Ragad F. Aldilajan, Sai P. Katikaneni, Mohammad Rakib, Bandar Solami, Jorge Gascon, Pedro Castaño*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ammonia decomposition is an attractive process for decarbonized hydrogen production. Alkalis are known to promote the reaction, which is especially important to enable non-noble metal catalysts to achieve similar performances to the benchmark Ru catalyst. Herein, we evaluate the kinetic contribution of Ba as a promoter in Co–Ce catalysts, using a microkinetic approach to investigate the influence of the promoter on the elementary steps of ammonia decomposition. For this purpose, we performed experiments over a wide range of conditions with two Co–Ce catalysts, with and without Ba. The results were used to fit microkinetic models with enthalpy–entropy constraints for parameters such as prefactors, activation energies, and sticking coefficients. Based on the differences in these parameters, we compared surface coverages and partial equilibrium indices to show how Ba enhances the rate of N2 desorption, one of the two kinetically relevant steps, along with the NH2 dehydrogenation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144623
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • Ammonia decomposition
  • Barium
  • Cerium
  • Cobalt
  • Hydrogen
  • Microkinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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