Comparative Study of the Acidity of Sulphated Zirconia Supported on Alumina Prepared by Sol-Gel and Impregnation Methods
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Sulphated and unsulphated alumina-zirconia with atomic ratio Zr/Al = 0.5 were prepared by sol-gel and impregnation methods. The solid prepared by the sol-gel method exhibits the higher specific surface area. The Kelvin probe shows that the value of unsulphated sample is around 400 mV. This value grows up to 1100 mV for sample prepared by impregnation of aerogel alumina by sulphated propoxide zirconium and up to 1450 mV for sulphated alumina-zirconia aerogel catalyst. The modification of the work function is probably due to the charge transfer from the zirconium and aluminium to an oxygen species, responsible for the increase of Lewis acidity. XPS results show that the aluminium and zirconium exist in oxide form as Al2O3 and ZrO2. The sulphur is present as sulphate species in the solids bonded to the Al—Zr—O framework. Furthermore, the oxygen species exist in different types created by the introduction of sulphur in the bulk of solids.
Compared to the impregnated catalyst the sol-gel sulphated alumina zirconia exhibits higher activity in the isopropanol dehydration reaction in the temperature range 423 K–523 K.
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