Characterization of Dispersed Heteropoly Acid on Mesoporous Zeolite Using Solid-State 31P NMR Spin−Lattice Relaxation
Kake Zhu, Jianzhi Hu, Xiaoyan She, Jun Liu*, Zimin Nie, Yong Wang, Charles H. F. Peden and Ja Hun Kwak
Dispersion and quantitative characterization of supported catalysts is a grand challenge in catalytic science. In this paper, heteropoly acid H3PW12O40 (HPA) is dispersed on mesoporous zeolite silicalite-1 derived from hydrothermal synthesis using carbon black nanoparticle templates, and the catalytic activity is studied for 1-butene isomerization. The HPAs supported on conventional zeolite and on mesoporous zeolite exhibit very different activities and thus provide good model systems to investigate the structure dependence of the catalytic properties. The HPA on mesoporous silicalite-1 shows enhanced catalytic activity for 1-butene isomerization, while HPA on conventional silicalite-1 exhibits low activity. To elucidate the structural difference, supported HPA catalysts are characterized using a variety of techniques, including 31P magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance, and are shown to contain a range of species on both mesoporous and conventional zeolites. However, contrary to studies reported in the literature, conventional NMR techniques and chemical shifts alone do not provide sufficient information to distinguish the dispersed and aggregated surface species. The dispersed phase and the nondispersed phase can only be unambiguously and quantitatively characterized using spin−lattice relaxation NMR techniques. The HPA supported on mesoporous zeolite contains a fast relaxation component related to the dispersed catalyst, giving a much higher activity, while the HPA supported on conventional zeolite has essentially only the slow relaxation component with very low activity. The results obtained from this work demonstrate that the combination of spinning sideband fitting and spin−lattice relaxation techniques can provide detailed structural information on not only the Keggin structure for HPA but also the degree of dispersion on the support.