An eco-friendly soft template synthesis of mesostructured silica-carbon nanocomposites for acid catalysis
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
, p. 3047-3058
University of Antwerp
The synthesis of ordered mesoporous silica-carbon composites was explored by employing TEOS and sucrose as the silica and carbon precursor respectively, and the triblock copolymer F127 as a structure-directing agent via an evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) process. It is demonstrated that the synthesis procedures allow for control of the textural properties and final composition of these silica-carbon nanocomposites via adjustment of the effective SiO2/C weight ratio. Characterization by SAXS, N-2 physisorption, HRTEM, TGA, and C-13 and Si-29 solid-state MAS NMR show a 2D hexagonal mesostructure with uniform large pore size ranging from 5.2 to 7.6nm, comprising of separate carbon phases in a continuous silica phase. Ordered mesoporous silica and non-ordered porous carbon can be obtained by combustion of the pyrolyzed nanocomposites in air or etching with HF solution, respectively. Sulfonic acid groups can be readily introduced to such kind of silica-carbon nanocomposites by a standard sulfonation procedure with concentrated sulfuric acid. Excellent acid-catalytic activities and selectivities for the dimerization of styrene to produce 1,3-diphenyl-1-butene and dimerization of -methylstyrene to unsaturated dimers were demonstrated with the sulfonated materials.