The catalytic activity of anodic oxides on aluminum

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The dehydration of isopropanol over anodic oxides was studied. The catalytic activity of the anodic oxides prepared in phosphoric, sulfuric, and oxalic acid was compared to the activity of ν-Al₂O₃. The effect of various thermal treatments on the catalytic activity was examined. IR spectroscopy proved useful for the study of the effect of thermal treatment on the acidity of the oxides. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was employed to examine the oxide surfaces both before and after use as a catalyst.

The acidity of the oxides was studied by various methods and related to the activity of the oxides. The acidity of the oxide surfaces was studied by the adsorption of pH indicators on the oxide surfaces. The adsorption of gaseous bases, ammonia and pyridine, was studied by IR spectroscopy and temperature programmed desorption mass spectrometry. It was thus possible to differentiate between Lewis and Brønsted acid sites and to determine the quantity of the acid sites on the various oxides.