Supercritical fluid deposition (SFD) is an alternative technique, one-pot process, to obtain nanostructured materials. These materials have been attracting increased attention for a wide variety of applications due to their superior properties compared to their bulk counterparts, but the traditional synthesis methods to insert transition metals into mesoporous frameworks, generally by wet impregnation or co-precipitation, show various drawbacks such as an excessive use of solvents, high energy consumption or costly refining steps.
SFD involves the dissolution of an organometallic precursor into the supercritical fluid, usually CO2, and its subsequent adsorption on the mesoporous support. CO2 is then released together with organic byproducts leading to a dry and solvent free material. Overall, SFD is able to reduce operational times.
In this research line, our group has synthesized catalysts by means of SFD, testing different metals (such as cobalt, nickel or ruthenium) over various supports (MCM-41, MCM-48, SBA-15 or carbon).
The final products have been characterized (ABET, SEM, TEM, TPR, TPD and SAXS) and their activities have been evaluated in diverse reactions with the target of biomass valorization, i.e. production of hydrogen by decomposition of cellulose or selective reaction to sorbitol from glucose.
Álvaro Sastre – Project Cathycel CTQ2011-27347