(639c) Facile Induction of Mesoporosity within Crystalline Metal-Oxides By Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment
Metal-oxides are widely used in several applications such as water purification, photo-catalysis, chemical warfare agent (CWA) decomposition, given that they are relatively easy to synthesize and cost-effective. Within the CWA decomposition field, metal-oxides are particularly effective, as they have the ability to hydrolyze CWA and CWA-surrogates, such as phosphor-organic and mustard agents into non-toxic products. Crystalline metal-oxides typically exhibit low surface area. This means that their catalytic activity relies mostly on surface interactions. Surface chemistry within metal-oxides play an important role into the adsorption and consequent decomposition of CWA. Therefore, incorporating mesoporosity within metal-oxides can significantly enhance transport, accessibility of reactive sites, adsorption capacity, thus improving their overall catalytic activity. Crystalline zinc, cerium and zirconium oxides were synthesized by typical sol-gel techniques and were found to be non-porous. Nitrogen adsorption experiments demonstrate that adding crystalline metal-oxides into a solution of hydrogen peroxide facilitates the formation of mesopores. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data suggest that one important factor in the formation of mesopores is due to the removal of lattice-bound water molecules from crystalline metal-oxides.