Sol-gel sulfonic acid silicas as catalysts

Adam F. Lee, Karen Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Silica-supported sulfonic acids are a class of solid Brønsted acid catalysts that generally comprise organo-sulfonic acid groups tethered to silica surfaces. Methodologies to prepare organically modified silica have been widely developed in separation science and the techniques for their preparation are well documented. The application of this chemistry to prepare pure Brønsted sulfonic acid functionalized mesoporous silicas has stimulated significant research effort in this area, since these materials are interesting alternatives to commercially available sulfonated polymer resins, such as Amberlyst–15 and Nafion-H (sulfonated polystyrene and perfluorinated sulfonic acid resins respectively), which suffer from low surface areas and thermal stability. This chapter presents an overview of the preparation of mesostructured silica supported sulfonic acids, their catalytic applications and reviews the approaches taken to tune catalyst performance in organic transformations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of green chemistry
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-527-62869-8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2009


  • mesoporous silica
  • green chemistry
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • sulfonic acid silica
  • solid acid


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