Indexed on: 10 Feb '16Published on: 10 Feb '16Published in: Scientific Reports
Carbon-based solid acid catalysts have shown significant potential in a wide range of applications, and they have been successfully synthesized using simple processes. Magnetically separable mesoporous carbon composites also have enormous potential, especially in separation and adsorption technology. However, existing techniques have been unable to produce a magnetically separable mesoporous solid acid catalyst because no suitable precursors have been identified. Herein we describe a magnetically separable, mesoporous solid acid catalyst synthesized from a newly developed mesoporous carbon-γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticle composite. This material exhibits an equivalent acid density and catalytic activity in the hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose, to that of the cellulose-derived conventional catalyst. Since it is magnetically separable, this material can be readily recovered and reused, potentially reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes to which it is applied.