MoS2 monolayer catalyst doped with isolated Co atoms for the hydrodeoxygenation reaction

Guoliang Liu, Alex W. Robertson, Molly Meng Jung Li, Winson C.H. Kuo, Matthew T. Darby, Mohamad H. Muhieddine, Yung Chang Lin, Kazu Suenaga, Michail Stamatakis, Jamie H. Warner, Shik Chi Edman Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

533 Citations (Scopus)


The conversion of oxygen-rich biomass into hydrocarbon fuels requires efficient hydrodeoxygenation catalysts during the upgrading process. However, traditionally prepared CoMoS2 catalysts, although efficient for hydrodesulfurization, are not appropriate due to their poor activity, sulfur loss and rapid deactivation at elevated temperature. Here, we report the synthesis of MoS2 monolayer sheets decorated with isolated Co atoms that bond covalently to sulfur vacancies on the basal planes that, when compared with conventionally prepared samples, exhibit superior activity, selectivity and stability for the hydrodeoxygenation of 4-methylphenol to toluene. This higher activity allows the reaction temperature to be reduced from the typically used 300 °C to 180 °C and thus allows the catalysis to proceed without sulfur loss and deactivation. Experimental analysis and density functional theory calculations reveal a large number of sites at the interface between the Co and Mo atoms on the MoS2 basal surface and we ascribe the higher activity to the presence of sulfur vacancies that are created local to the observed Co-S-Mo interfacial sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-816
Number of pages7
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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