With metal sulfate as the precursor, the catalysts of sulfated zirconia on MCM-41, Al- and Ga-promoted sulfated zirconia on MCM-41 (named as SZ/MCM-41, ASZ/MCM-41 and GSZ/MCM-41, respectively) were prepared by direct dispersion in the as-synthesized MCM-41 materials, followed by thermal decomposition. The catalysts were characterized with various techniques such as XRD, FTIR, N 2 adsorption, NH3-TPD, DRIFT, and TPR-MS. The ordered porous structure was still maintained in the catalysts. The addition of promoters helps to retard the phase transformation of ZrO2 from tetragonal phase to monoclinic phase. Isomerization of n-pentane was investigated over the catalysts. In comparison to SZ/MCM-41, both promoted catalysts showed much improved catalytic activity and selectivity for isomerization of n-pentane. Moreover, the catalytical activities of both promoted catalysts for pentane isomerization remained steady over the period of 180 min while the activities of the unpromoted catalyst decreased in < 120 min. Characterization of acidity showed no significant difference in strength distributions of the acid sites over the catalysts. The nature of acid sites in SZ/MCM-41 was affected by the presence of aluminum, but not affected by the presence of gallium. On the other hand, TPR study shows sulfur on GSZ/MCM-41 is much easier to reduce than SZ/MCM-41 and ASZ/MCM-41. The presence of gallium improved the redox capability provided by the sulfate ions in GSZ/MCM-41 catalyst. The causes for the promotion effects of Ga and Al are discussed.
- Sulfated zirconia
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