Intense microwave heating at strongly polarized solid acid/water interface for energy-efficient platform chemical production

T Ji and ZJ Yang and SL Song and T Zhou and LW Mu and XH Lu and JH Zhu, CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE, 262, 118035 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2022.118035

A strongly polarized solid/liquid interface is constructed to create a "micro-hydrothermal " environment under microwave and promote reaction energy efficiency. Specifically, TiO2 with open crystal structure was synthesized to maximize the density of surface-active centers and the degrees of interfacial polarization. Acidic groups were grafted on the catalyst surface, which served as catalytically active sites as well as heat-generation spots under microwave irradiation. Benefited by enhanced interfacial polarization, 10 times higher energy efficiency (6.8 mmol (kJ L)(-1)) than commercial TiO2 can be achieved in fructose dehydration reaction. MD simulation revealed that sulfonic group polarized surface water molecules and acted as "hot-spots " to accelerate fructose dehydration to HMF. Such alignment of site-specific heating and reaction by material design has great potential to shift the energy efficiency for a wide range of chemical reactions. (c) 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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