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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 738089, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/738089
Research Article

Fe3+-Exchanged Titanate Nanotubes: A New Kind of Highly Active Heterogeneous Catalyst for Friedel-Crafts Type Benzylation

1State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China
2Department of Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China

Received 6 January 2015; Accepted 20 April 2015

Academic Editor: Takuya Tsuzuki

Copyright © 2015 Yunchen Du et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Heterogeneous catalysis for Friedel-Crafts type benzylation has received much attention in recent years due to its characteristic of environmental benefits. In this paper, titanate nanotubes (TNTs) were employed as heterogeneous catalyst support, and a new kind of Fe3+-exchanged titanate nanotubes (Fe-TNTs) catalyst with highly dispersed ferric sites was constructed by an ion exchange technique. The obtained catalyst was systematically characterized by XRD, TEM, N2 adsorption, XPS, and UV-vis spectra. As expected, Fe-TNTs showed excellent catalytic activities in the benzylation of benzene and benzene derivatives. The recycling tests for Fe-TNTs were also carried out, where the reason for the gradually decreased activity was carefully investigated. Superior to some reported catalysts, the catalytic ability of used Fe-TNTs could be easily recovered by ion exchange again, indicating that Fe-TNTs herein were a highly active and durable heterogeneous catalyst for Friedel-Crafts type benzylation. These results might be helpful for the design and preparation of novel heterogeneous catalysts by combining the structural advantages of titanate nanotubes and active metal ions.