Engineering the Distinct Structure Interface of Subnano-alumina Domains on Silica for Acidic Amorphous Silica–Alumina toward Biorefining
- Journal Article
Amorphous silica–aluminas (ASAs) are important solid catalysts and supports for many industrially essential and sustainable processes, such as hydrocarbon transformation and biorefining. However, the wide distribution of acid strength on ASAs often results in undesired side reactions, lowering the product selectivity. Here we developed a strategy for the synthesis of a unique class of ASAs with unvarying strength of Brønsted acid sites (BAS) and Lewis acid sites (LAS) using double-flame-spray pyrolysis. Structural characterization using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy showed that the uniform acidity is due to a distinct nanostructure, characterized by a uniform interface of silica–alumina and homogeneously dispersed alumina domains. The BAS population density of as-prepared ASAs is up to 6 times higher than that obtained by classical methods. The BAS/LAS ratio, as well as the population densities of BAS and LAS of these ASAs, could be tuned in a broad range. In cyclohexanol dehydration, the uniform Brønsted acid strength provides a high selectivity to cyclohexene and a nearly linear correlation between acid site densities and cyclohexanol conversion. Moreover, the concerted action of these BAS and LAS leads to an excellent bifunctional Brønsted–Lewis acid catalyst for glucose dehydration, affording a superior 5-hydroxymethylfurfural yield. Show more
Journal / seriesJACS Au
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
SubjectAmorphous silica-alumina; Bronsted and Lewis acidities; double-flame-spray pyrolysis; glucose conversion; cyclohexanol dehydration; solid-state NMR
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