A range of Sn-modified MWW, MFI, MOR and Beta zeolites were prepared by a post-synthetic Sn functionalization method and their catalytic properties for sugar conversions were evaluated. The focus of this work was to understand the effect of micropore dimensions and additional mesoporosity on the Sn incorporation and on the catalytic properties. The post-synthetic approach, which involves acid-dealumination of the parent zeolite followed by SnCl4 grafting, is highly efficient for the selective incorporation of lattice Sn sites in wide-pore Beta and MOR zeolites. The modification of the medium-pore MWW and MFI is impaired by the more difficult dealumination and hence the lower efficiency of the Sn incorporation. Hierarchical structuring of the zeolites allows the increase of the Sn loading in the final zeolites. The catalytic properties were assessed in the isomerization and retro-aldolization reactions of glucose and the conversion of 1,3-dihydroxyacetone to methyl lactate. The catalytic results depend strongly on the structural and topological properties of the catalysts as well as on the reactant. Glucose isomerization carried out at a relatively low temperature is mainly limited by strong adsorption of carbohydrates to the active sites. This explains why zeolite nanostructuring had little effect on the catalyst activity, which instead depends mainly on the zeolite topology and the nature of the reactive Sn centers. The influence of pore size is most pronounced for Sn-MWW and Sn-MFI zeolites which are inactive in glucose-to-fructose isomerization, but perform in the higher-temperature retro-aldolization of carbohydrates with an activity similar to that of Sn-Beta. Because of the limited accessibility of the Sn sites inside the 1D MOR pore system, Sn-MOR catalysts were only moderately active in all probe reactions considered.
van der Graaff, W. N. P., Tempelman, C. H. L., Pidko, E. A., & Hensen, E. J. M. (2017). Influence of pore topology on synthesis and reactivity of Sn-modified zeolite catalysts for carbohydrate conversions. Catalysis Science & Technology, 7(14), 3151-3162. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7CY01052D