The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Bussell, Mark E.

Second Advisor

Bao, Ying (Materials scientist)

Third Advisor

Berger, Robert F.


The reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction converts a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) into a useful reagent, carbon monoxide (CO). As a platform molecule, CO can be converted into fuels such as methanol (CH3OH), methane (CH4), and olefins (CxH2x) via reactions such as the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Nickel phosphide (Ni2P) and indium oxide (In2O3) are two noted catalysts capable of converting CO2 into CO via the RWGS reaction, but photocatalysts comprised of Ni2P and In­2O3 together have had little investigation. Ni2P/In2O3 catalysts were synthesized via an initial incipient wetness impregnation followed by a temperature-programmed reduction using in situ generated PH3 to form Ni2P/In2O3. Light absorption was recorded using UV-Vis-NIR spectral analysis. Reaction studies were performed using a batch photocatalytic reactor utilizing a 300 W Xe lamp and gas chromatography. Initial studies were performed using nanostructured In2O3 to enable photothermal enhancement from loadings of Ni2P. Trends of increased photoenhancement were observed from the introduction of Ni2P onto the In2O3 support materials. Studies were conducted with Ni2P loadings of 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, and 7.5 wt% on In2O3 in light and dark environments to evaluate enhancement of the RWGS reaction; the optimal Ni2P loading was determined to be 2.5 wt% for the most active In2O3 support.




nickel phosphide, reducible oxide, RWGS, heterogeneous catalysis, indium oxide


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Nickel catalysts; Phosphides--Synthesis; Indium--Synthesis; Oxides--Synthesis; Heterogeneous catalysis; Catalysts--Absorption and adsorption; Water-gas--Reactivity; Reduction (Chemistry)




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Available for download on Thursday, December 12, 2024

Included in

Chemistry Commons