Synthesis, adsorption and catalysis of large pore metal phosphonates
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The synthesis and properties of metal phosphonates prepared using piperazine-based bisphosphonic acids have been investigated. The ligands N,N’-piperazinebis(methylenephosphonic acid) (H₄L), and the 2-methyl (H₄L-Me) and 2,5-dimethyl (H₄L 2,5-diMe) derivatives have been prepared using a modified Mannich reaction. Hydrothermal reaction of gels prepared from metal (II) acetates and the bisphosphonic acids results in the synthesis of four structures: STA-12, Ni VSB-5, Co H₂L.H₂O and Mg H₂L. STA-12, synthesised by reaction of Mn, Fe, Co or Ni acetate with H₄L or H₄L-Me, has been investigated further. STA-12 crystallises in the space group R⁻₃, and Ni STA-12 is the most crystalline version. Its structure was solved from synchrotron data (a = b = 27.8342(1) Å, c = 6.2421(3) Å, α = β = 90°, γ = 120°), and it has large 10 Å hexagonal shaped pores. Helical chains of Ni octahedra are coordinated by the ligands, resulting in phosphonate tetrahedra pointing towards the pore space. Water is present, both coordinated to the Ni²⁺ cations and physically adsorbed in the pores. Mixed metal structures based on Ni STA-12, where some Ni is replaced in the gel by another divalent metal (Mg, Mn, Fe or Co) can also be synthesised. Dehydration of STA-12 results in two types of behaviour, depending on the metal present. Rhombohedral symmetry is retained on dehydration of Mn and Fe STA-12, the a cell parameter decreasing compared to the as-prepared structures by 2.42 Å and 1.64 Å respectively. Structure solution of dehydrated Mn STA-12 indicates changes in the torsion angles of the piperazine ring bring the inorganic chains closer together. Fe and Mn STA-12 do not adsorb N₂, which is thought to be due to the formation of an amorphous surface layer. Dehydration of Ni and Co STA-12 causes crystallographic distortion. Three phases were isolated for Ni STA-12: removal of physically adsorbed water results in retention of rhombohedral symmetry, while dehydration at 323 K removes some coordinated water forming a triclinic structure. A fully dehydrated structure (dehydrated at 423 K) was solved from synchrotron data (a = 6.03475(5) Å, b = 14.9156(2) Å, c = 16.1572(7) Å, α = 112.5721(7)°, β = 95.7025(11)°, γ = 96.4950(11)°). The dehydration mechanism, followed by UV-vis and Infra-red spectroscopy, involves removal of water from the Ni²⁺ cations and full coordination of two out of three of the phosphonate tetrahedra forming three crystallographically distinct Ni and P atoms. No structural distortion takes place on dehydration of Ni and Co STA-12 prepared using the methylated bisphosphonate, and the solids give a higher N₂ uptake as a result. Dehydrated Ni and Co STA-12 were tested for adsorption performance for fuel related gases and probe molecules. Investigations were undertaken at low temperature with H₂, CO and CO₂, and ambient temperature with CO₂, CH₄, CH₃CN, CH₃OH and large hydrocarbons. Due to the presence of lower crystallinity, Co STA-12 has an inferior adsorption performance to Ni STA-12, although it has similar adsorption enthalpies for CO₂ at ambient temperature (-30 to -35 kJ mol⁻¹). Ni STA-12 adsorbs similar amounts of CO₂ and N₂ at low temperature, indicating the adsorption mechanisms are similar. Also, it adsorbs 10 × more CO₂ than CH₄ at low pressure, meaning it could be used for separation applications. Ni STA-12 adsorbs 2 mmol g⁻¹ H₂ with an enthalpy of -7.5 kJ mol⁻¹, the uptake being due to adsorption on only one-third of the Ni²⁺ cations. The uptake for CO is 6 mmol g⁻¹, with adsorption enthalpies ranging from -24 to -14 kJ mol⁻¹. This uptake is due to adsorption on all the Ni²⁺, meaning the adsorption enthalpies are high enough to allow the structure to relax. This is also observed for adsorption of CH₃CN and CH₃OH, where there is a return to rhombohedral symmetry after uptake. The adsorption sites in dehydrated Ni and Co STA-12 were investigated via Infra-red spectroscopic analysis of adsorbed probe molecules (H₂, CO, CO₂, CH₃CN and CH₃OH). The results indicate the adsorption sites at both low and ambient temperature are the metal cations and the P=O groups. The metal cation sites are also characterised as Lewis acids with reasonable strength. STA-12 was shown to have acidic activity for the liquid phase selective oxidations of 1-hexene and cyclohexene, although there is evidence active sites are coordinated by products and/or solvents during the reaction. STA-12 also demonstrates basic activity for the Knoevenagel condensation of ethyl cyanoacetate and benzaldehyde. Modification of STA-12 by adsorption of diamine molecules causes a slight increase in the basicity, and the highest conversions are where water and diamine molecules are both present.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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