Structure and reactivity of sol-gel sulphonic acid silicas

Karen Wilson, Adam F. Lee, Duncan J. Macquarrie, James H. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A range of mesoporous solid sulphonic acid catalysts have been prepared from a mercaptopropyl-trimethoxysilane (MPTS) precursor by sol-gel synthesis. The creation of surface sulphonic acid functionality via thiol oxidation has been followed by XPS and Raman spectroscopy. It is possible to continuously vary the sulphonic acid loading from 1 to 12wt.% while maintaining pore volume and mesostructure. The resulting materials exhibit high thermal stability and acid strength across the composition range and show good activity and selectivity in esterification and condensation reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Issue number1-2
Early online date6 Dec 2001
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2002


  • solid acid catalysts
  • organically modified silica
  • clean technology
  • green chemistry
  • sulphonic acid
  • mesoporous silica


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