Synthesis and Properties of Al2O3@Al Metal-Ceramic Core-Shell Microstructures for Catalyst Applications

Jieun Kim, Doohwan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Core-shell Al2O3@Al microstructures consisting of a highly heat conductive Al metal core encapsulated by a dense γ-Al2O3 shell formed by aggregation of porous γ-Al2O3 crystallites were obtained by hydrothermal surface oxidation of Al metal particles using two different methods: hydrothermal reactions at elevated temperatures above 423 K under autogenous pressure and microwave-powered surface-activated hydrothermal reactions at atmospheric pressure. The phase transformation of Al into γ-Al2O3 at the core/shell interface and the resulting morphological and structural properties of γ-Al2O3 crystallites from these two synthesis routes differed significantly. The high temperature hydrothermal route led to formation of densely agglomerated plate and rhombic shaped γ-Al2O3 crystallites with properties attributed to temperature, pH, and the presence of anions (NO3 -, Cl-, SO4 2-) and metal cations (Na+, K+, Ca2+). The microwave-powered method was highly efficient for structure formation under benign temperature and pressure conditions, resulting in uniform core-shell microstructures with unique petal-like surface morphologies and a sharp pore size distribution. These core-shell structured Al2O3@Al metal-ceramic composites utilized as supports for Rh catalysts enabled facilitated heat transport for endothermic glycerol steam reforming reactions, which resulted in substantial rate enhancements compared to a conventional Rh/Al2O3 catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2015


  • Alumina microstructures
  • Aluminum oxidation
  • Core-shell catalyst
  • Glycerol reforming
  • Metal-ceramic composite


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