Modifying the hierarchical porosity of SBA-15 via mild-detemplation followed by secondary treatments

Zheng Zhang, Ignacio Melián-Cabrera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fenton-chemistry-based detemplation combined with secondary treatments offers options to tune the hierarchical porosity of SBA-15. This approach has been studied on a series of SBA-15 mesophases and has been compared to the conventional calcination. The as-synthesized and detemplated materials were studied with regard to their template content (TGA, CHN), structure (SAXS, TEM), surface hydroxylation (Blin-Carterets approach), and texture (high-resolution argon physisorption). Fenton detemplation achieves 99% of template removal, leading to highly hydroxylated materials. The structure is better preserved when a secondary treatment is applied after the Fenton oxidation, due to the intense capillary forces during drying in water. Two successful approaches are presented: drying in a low-surface-tension solvent (such as n-BuOH) and a hydrothermal stabilization to further condense the structure and make it structurally more robust. Both approaches give rise to remarkably low structural shrinkage, lower than calcination and the direct water-dried Fenton. Interestingly, the derived textural features are remarkably different. The n-BuOH exchange route gives rise to highly hierarchical structures with enhanced interconnecting pores and the highest surface areas. The hydrothermal stabilization produces large-pore SBA-15 structures with high pore volume, intermediate interconnectivity, and minimal micropores. Therefore, the hierarchical texture can be fine-tuned in these two fashions while the template is removed under mild conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28689-28698
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry: Part C
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2014


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