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Zr-Based Metal–Organic Frameworks with Intrinsic Peroxidase-Like Activity for Ultradeep Oxidative Desulfurization: Mechanism of H2O2 Decomposition

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journal contribution
posted on 30.04.2019, 21:43 by He-Qi Zheng, Yong-Nian Zeng, Jin Chen, Rong-Guang Lin, Wan-E Zhuang, Rong Cao, Zu-Jin Lin
The restriction of sulfur content in fuels has become increasingly stringent as a result of the growing environmental concerns. Although several MOF-derived materials like POM@MOF composites have shown the ability to catalyze oxidative desulfurization (ODS), their catalytic activities inevitably obstructed by the encapsulated catalytic sites like POM due to the blockage of cavities. Therefore, MOFs with intrinsic and accessible catalytic sites are highly desirable for their applications in ultradeep ODS. Herein, four representative Zr-based MOFs (Zr-MOFs), namely, UiO-66, UiO-67, NU-1000, and MOF-808, were assessed for catalytic ODS. These MOFs were confirmed that they have peroxidase-like activity and can catalyze ODS with H2O2 as oxidant. Among them, MOF-808 showed the highest catalytic activity and it can fully desulfurize dibenzothiophene (DBT) in a model gasoline with a S concentration of 1000 ppm under 40 °C within 5 min. An extremely low apparent Arrhenius activation energy (22.0 KJ·mol–1) and an extraordinarily high TOF value (42.7 h–1) were obtained, ranking MOF-808 among the best catalysts for the catalytic DBT oxidation. Further studies confirmed that the excellent catalytic activity is mainly responsible for the high concentration of the accessible Zr-OH­(H2O) catalytic sites decorated in MOF-808. The superoxide radicals (O2) and hydroxyl radicals (OH) were identified and were proved to involve in the DBT oxidation. Besides, the effects of Brönsted and lewis acidity to the catalytic efficiency were also discussed. Based on the experimental results, a plausible mechanism concerning on Zr-OH­(H2O) groups promoting the H2O2 decomposion in to both O2 and OH was first proposed. Moreover, MOF-808 can be facilely reused for at least eight runs without significant loss of its catalytic activity. By the integration of facile synthesis, high catalytic efficiency, and good stability, MOF-808 thus represents a new benchmark catalyst for catalytic oxidative desulfurization.