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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 507692, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/507692
Research Article

Synthesis, Characterization and Catalytic Performance of Prepared by Sol-Gel Technique

1Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia
2School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia

Received 29 March 2011; Accepted 12 July 2011

Academic Editor: Mallikarjuna Nadagouda

Copyright © 2011 W. N. R. W. Isahak 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

The purpose of this work is to study the synthesis, characterization, and catalytic performance of two types of solid heteropoly acid catalysts, namely, silicotungstic acid bulk (STAB) and STA-silica sol-gel (STA-SG) compared with sulfuric acid. From the XPS analyses, there was a significant formation of W-O-Si, W-O-W, and Si-O-Si bonding in STA-SG compared to that in STAB. The main spectra of O1s (90.74%, 531.5 eV) followed by other O1s peak (9.26%, 532.8 eV) were due to the presence of W-O-W and W-O-Si bonds, respectively. The STA-SG catalyst was found to be the more environmentally benign solid acid catalyst for the esterification reaction between oleic acid and glycerol due to its lower toxicity supported by silica via sol-gel technique. In addition, the ease of separation for STA-SG catalyst was attributed to its insoluble state in the product phase. The esterification products were then analysed by FTIR and HPLC. Both the H2SO4 and the STAB gave high conversion of 100% and 98% but at a lower selectivity of GME with 81.6% and 89.9%, respectively. On the contrary, the STA-SG enabled a conversion of 94% but with a significantly higher GME selectivity of 95%, rendering it the more efficient solid acid catalyst.