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Issue 13, 2014
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Fabrication of magnetically responsive core–shell adsorbents for thiophene capture: AgNO3-functionalized Fe3O4@mesoporous SiO2 microspheres

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Abstract

Deep desulfurization of transportation fuels via π-complexation adsorption is an effective method for the selective capture of aromatic sulfur compounds. Taking into consideration that the desulfurization of transportation fuels proceeds in the liquid phase, separation and recycling of adsorbents should be greatly facilitated if the adsorbents were endowed with magnetism. In this paper, magnetically responsive core–shell π-complexation adsorbent microspheres, AgNO3/Fe3O4@mSiO2 (mSiO2 denotes mesoporous silica), which comprises a core of magnetite particles and a shell of mesoporous silica dispersed with AgNO3, was developed for the first time. The silica shell exhibits highly open mesopores with perpendicularly aligned pore channels, large surface area (694 m2 g−1) and uniform pore size (2.3 nm), which is quite beneficial to the accommodation of Ag(I) active species. As a result, AgNO3 can be well dispersed in the pores of silica shells and are highly accessible to adsorbate molecules. Our results show that the adsorbent is active in the adsorptive removal of a typical aromatic sulfur compound, thiophene, via π-complexation under ambient conditions. More importantly, the superparamagnetism allows the adsorbent to be separated conveniently from the adsorption system in several seconds by the use of an external field. After desulfurization, the adsorbents were regenerated by washing with isooctane and subsequent thermal dispersion in Ar. The regenerated adsorbent after six cycles still shows a good adsorption capacity (0.145 mmol g−1 or 4.64 mg g−1), which is comparable to the fresh adsorbent (0.147 mmol g−1 or 4.70 mg g−1). The magnetically responsive π-complexation adsorbent may be a promising candidate for the deep purification of transportation fuels.

Graphical abstract: Fabrication of magnetically responsive core–shell adsorbents for thiophene capture: AgNO3-functionalized Fe3O4@mesoporous SiO2 microspheres

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Nov 2013, accepted on 09 Jan 2014 and first published on 10 Jan 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TA14491G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014,2, 4698-4705

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    Fabrication of magnetically responsive core–shell adsorbents for thiophene capture: AgNO3-functionalized Fe3O4@mesoporous SiO2 microspheres

    P. Tan, J. Qin, X. Liu, X. Yin and L. Sun, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 4698
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TA14491G

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