Effects of Zr/Ti molar ratio in SO42-/ZrO2-TiO2 calcined at different temperatures on its surface properties and glucose reactivity in near-critical methanol
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Effects of Zr/Ti molar ratio in SO42-/ZrO2-TiO2 solid acid catalyst calcined at different temperatures on its surface properties and catalytic activity were thoroughly investigated in this paper. The physicochemical characteristics of prepared samples were determined by N-2 adsorption-desorption, XRD, NH3-TPD and XPS techniques, respectively. It was found that the crystallization temperature of the samples increased after the combination of ZrO2 and TiO2; and phase transformations from the anatase to the rutile of TiO2 species and the tetragonal to the monoclinic of ZrO2 species were effectively suppressed at higher temperature. The sample with a Zr/Ti molar ratio of 3/1 calcined at 450 degrees C showed the highest surface area and the most acid sites among all the tested samples. The acid site densities of samples were relatively closed to each other if they were calcined at the same temperature, however, decreased with the calcination temperature. The result indicates that the sulfur content in samples is a crucial factor to control the acid site density. Calcining the sample at 650 degrees C and higher temperatures resulted in a significant desorption of sulfate ion on the samples. The synthesized samples were evaluated as a potential catalyst for glucose conversion under the near-critical methanol conditions (200 degrees C/4 MPa). The results suggested that the relatively weaker acid sites of the catalyst were more favorable for the accumulation of methyl glucosides, while the moderate acid sites were responsible for the formation of methyl levulinate. The catalytic activity for methyl levulinate production almost increases linearly with the catalyst acid site density. The catalyst deactivation is due to the loss of sulfate ion and the two catalysts with Zr/Ti molar ratios of 3/1 and 1/3 could effectively alleviate the deactivation caused by sulfate solution in the reaction medium and can be reused after calcination with the reuse rate of over 90% in terms of the methyl levulinate selectivity.