Atomic layer deposition (ALD) has been used to coat SBA-15 and functionalized SBA-15 with various metal oxides. Use of SBA-15 coated with 4-10 ALD cycles of titania, alumina, niobia, or zirconia in the acid-catalyzed dehydration of fructose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) resulted in 24-57% conversion, with 0-22% selectivity, at 130 °C with 2 wt % fructose in 4:1 THF:H2O. Propylsulfonic acid functionalized SBA-15 (SBA-15-PrSO3H) had a 25% conversion and 48% selectivity for HMF under the same conditions. SBA-15-PrSO3H was also coated with 2 ALD cycles of titania followed by 8 ALD cycles silica. The deactivation rate constant for SBA-15-PrSO3H was 2.7 x 10-2 h-1 for the dehydration of fructose to HMF in a flow reactor at 130 °C with a feed of 2 wt % fructose in 4:1 THF:H2O. In comparison, the deactivation rate constant for the ALD coated SBA-15-PrSO3H-ALD was 7.9 x 10-3 h-1.
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