A quantitative investigation of the structure of Raney-Ni catalyst material using both computer simulation and experimental measurements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • N.C. Barnard
  • S.G.R. Brown
  • F. Devred
  • J.W. Bakker
  • B.E. Nieuwenhuys

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Leiden University
  • University of Wales Swansea


This paper describes combined experimental techniques and numerical modelling of the surface condition of activated nanoscopic Raney-nickel catalysts produced via leaching of spray-atomised NiAl precursor powders. Results of off-lattice Metropolis and lattice kinetic Monte Carlo models compare favourably to experimentation quantifying the surface of Raney-nickel catalysts in terms of both surface area and the surface distribution of residual aluminium left over from the leaching process. Predicted surface areas from the kinetic Monte Carlo simulations are shown to be in good agreement with BET measurements from nitrogen physisorption for catalyst materials prepared from two different NiAl precursor alloys. Surface aluminium concentrations predicted by Metropolis Monte Carlo simulations are also in agreement with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results and in addition predict an absence of Al-Al bonding at the surface.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-308
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2011