Mesoporous nanosilica-supported polyoxomolybdate as catalysts for sustainable desulfurization

Fátima Mirante, Neide Gomes, Luís C. Branco, Luís Cunha-Silva, Pedro L. Almeida, Martyn Pillinger, Sandra Gago, Carlos M. Granadeiro, Salete S. Balula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) strategically functionalized were used to immobilize a homogeneous polyoxomolybdate catalyst [PMo 12 O 40 ] 3- (PMo 12 ), active but unstable. The PMo 12 @TBA-MSN composite (where TBA refers to surface-tethered tributylammonium groups) conferred high stability to the polyoxomolybdate catalytic center and displayed an increase in efficiency for the oxidative desulfurization (ECODS) of a diesel simulant under sustainable conditions (using H 2 O 2 as oxidant and an ionic liquid, [BMIM]PF 6 , as solvent). Continuous reuse of the catalyst and ionic liquid solvent in consecutive ECODS cycles was successfully performed, avoiding the production of residual wastes. The performance of the PMo 12 @TBA-MSN catalyst improved upon its reuse, leading to complete desulfurization of a multicomponent model diesel containing benzothiophene derivatives after just 1 h of the catalytic stage of the process. The robust nature of the supported catalyst was indicated by characterization of the recovered solid which showed retention of the structural and chemical integrities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Fuels
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Mesoporous silica nanoparticles
  • Oxidative desulfurization
  • Polyoxomolybdate

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