Siril, P.F., Davison, Andrea Dianne, Randhawa, J.K. and Brown, D.R. (2007) Acid strengths and catalytic activities of sulfonic acid on polymeric and silica supports. Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, 267 (1-2). pp. 72-78. ISSN 1381-1169

The acidic and catalytic properties of sulfonic acids supported on polystyrene, on silica (via propyl and phenyl tethers) and on a fluorinated hydrocarbon polymer (Nafion) are compared. Surface acidities are characterised using ammonia adsorption calorimetry under flow conditions in which pulses of ammonia are introduced to the sample from a flowing carrier stream. The extent of adsorption and molar enthalpies of ammonia adsorption (ΔHads°) are interpreted in terms of the abundance, accessibility and strength of surface acid sites. Catalytic activities are measured for the isomerisation of α-pinene. The Nafion catalysts show the highest ΔHads°(NH3) and the highest catalytic activities. Although both silica-supported and polystyrene-supported sulfonic acids show lower specific activities and lower ΔHads°(NH3) values, the correlation between activity and ΔHads°(NH3) is relatively poor for these supported forms of the acid. It appears that while ΔHads°(NH3) is certainly sensitive to the strength of acid groups on which ammonia is adsorbed, it can only be used to compare acid strengths in a meaningful way for structurally similar catalysts

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