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Open AccessArticle

Synthesis of Mesoporous γ-Al2O3 with Spongy Structure: In-Situ Conversion of Metal-Organic Frameworks and Improved Performance as Catalyst Support in Hydrodesulfurization

1
Research Centre of New Energy Science and Technology, Research Institute of Unconventional Oil & Gas and Renewable Energy, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(7), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071067
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 16 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 24 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Porous Materials)
Over the past decades, extensive efforts have been devoted to modulating the textural properties, morphology and microstructure of γ-Al2O3, since the physiochemical properties of γ-Al2O3 have close correlations with the performance of hydrotreating catalysts. In this work, a spongy mesoporous γ-alumina (γ-Al2O3) was synthesized using Al-based metal-organic frameworks (Al-MOFs) as precursor by two-step pyrolysis, and this Al-MOF-derived γ-Al2O3 was used as hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalyst support, to explore the effect of support on the HDS performance. Compared with industrial γ-Al2O3, the spongy alumina displayed well-developed porosity with relatively high surface area, large pore volume, and abundant weak Lewis acid sites. Based on catalyst characterization and performance evaluation, sulfurized molybdenum and cobalt molecules were able to incorporate and highly disperse into channels of the spongy mesoporous alumina, increasing the dispersion of active catalytic species. The spongy γ-Al2O3 was also able to enhance the diffusion efficiency and mass transfer of reactant molecules due to its improved texture properties. Therefore, the corresponding catalyst presented higher activities toward HDS of dibenzothiophene (DBT) than that from industrial alumina. The spongy mesoporous γ-alumina synthesized by Al-MOFs provides a new alternative to further develop novel γ-alumina materials with different texture and various nanoporous structures, considering the diversity of MOFs with different compositions, topological structures, and morphology. View Full-Text
Keywords: alumina; metal-organic frameworks; microstructure; hydrodesulfurization; catalyst support alumina; metal-organic frameworks; microstructure; hydrodesulfurization; catalyst support
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, D.; Zhu, H.; Zhao, J.; Pan, L.; Dai, P.; Gu, X.; Li, L.; Liu, Y.; Zhao, X. Synthesis of Mesoporous γ-Al2O3 with Spongy Structure: In-Situ Conversion of Metal-Organic Frameworks and Improved Performance as Catalyst Support in Hydrodesulfurization. Materials 2018, 11, 1067.

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