2016 Volume 49 Issue 2 Pages 152-160
Mesoporous silicas have shown promise as materials for solid catalysts or catalyst supports due to their unique characteristics. Metal-doped mesoporous silicas are known to be catalytically active in the oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of isobutane. However, heavy-metal-free mesoporous silicas have not been studied closely for their use as catalysts. In the present study, MCM-41 (#41 Mobil composition of matter) was acid-treated to enhance its catalytic activity, although pure MCM-41 was confirmed as catalytically inactive for the ODH of isobutane (isobutene yield=0.9%). The pH of a slurry of as-synthesized MCM-41 was changed during acid treatment. A pH adjustment to 6.5 resulted in great improvement in catalytic activity (isobutene yield=6.1%), but a pH adjustment to 4.5 resulted in insufficient improvement (isobutene yield=4.5%). It was confirmed via XRD and N2 adsorption-desorption measurement that the pH adjustment to 4.5 degraded the ordered structure of MCM-41. This degradation would be a crucial factor that would render acid treatment less effective. In addition to the acid treatment, Al doping to MCM-41 was conducted. Al doping also greatly enhanced the acidity and catalytic activity of MCM-41.