We have shown that fibrous nanosilica (KCC-1) can serve as a suitable support for the synthesis of highly dispersed ruthenium (Ru) nanoparticles. The resulting KCC-1/Ru catalyst displayed superior activity for the hydrogenolysis of propane and ethane at atmospheric pressure and at low temperature. The high catalytic activity was due to the formation of Ru-nanoparticles with an active size range (1-4 nm) and the presence of hexagonal-shaped particles with several corners and sharp edges possessing reactive atoms with lowest coordination numbers. The catalyst was stable with an excellent lifetime and no sign of deactivation, even after eight days. This enhanced stability may be due to the fibrous nature of KCC-1 which restricts Ostwald ripening of Ru nanoparticles. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
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