The influence of Cs on the structure and basicity of nanocrystalline MgO was assessed via electron microscopy, CO2 chemisorption, XRD and XPS. Caesium incorporation via co-precipitation under supercritical conditions generates Cs2Mg(CO3)2 nanocrystallites with an enhanced density and strength of surface base sites. Wet impregnation proved less effective for modifying MgO nanocrystals. A strong synergy between Cs and Mg components in the co-precipitated material dramatically enhanced the rate of tributyrin transesterification with methanol relative to undoped MgO and homogeneous Cs2CO3 catalysts. On-stream deactivation of Cs-doped MgO reflects heavy surface carbon deposition and loss of the high activity Cs2Mg(CO3)2 phase due to limited Cs dissolution.
- Alkali metal-doping
- nanocrystalline MgO