Continuous-flow synthesis of mesoporous SBA-15
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Ordered mesoporous silicas are widely used in separation science and catalysis, however, their slow batch synthesis is a barrier to scale-up and new applications. SBA-15 is one of the most extensively studied and commercially available mesoporous silicas, whose textural properties can be readily tuned through judicious choice of synthesis conditions. Here we demonstrate the continuous flow synthesis of SBA-15 in high yield at 80 °C using a simple tube reactor without any mixing device. The resulting SBA-15 exhibits excellent textural properties, with a BET surface area of 566 m2 g−1 and ordered 5.1 nm mesopore channels in a p6mm arrangement, akin to those from conventional batch synthesis, but with far higher productivity than previously reported in batch or flow (5.3 g L−1 h−1 versus 0.4 and 0.6 g L−1 h−1 respectively).
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