Mesoporous carbon materials have been widely studied as prospective catalytic materials because of their uniform mesoporous structure, high specific surface area and large pore volume.
In this work, the materials with ordered mesoporous structure were successfully prepared by both nanocasting method and self-assembly technique in aqueous phase. The surface functionalized methods of mesoporous carbon materials, such as acidity and hydrophobicity modifications, were systematically studied. The effects of pore structure, surface acidity, surface hydrophobicity of mesoporous carbon based solid acid catalysts on the catalytic esterification of free fatty acids (FFAs) in high acid value oil were also systematically investigated. The experimental results showed that high FFA conversion (>90%) could be obtained under the optimized reaction conditions, and the acid value of product oil could be reduced to < 2 mg KOH/g.
Both experimental characterization and molecular simulation method were used to explore the possible mechanism of self-assembly process of mesoporous carbon materials. The results indicated that the content of carbon precursor could affect the thickness and homogeneity of mesopore wall. Moreover, water could play a role to disperse carbon source and template agent in self-assembly system. The proposed mechanism could provide the mesoscopic scale understanding of mesoporous carbon synthesis by self-assembly method.
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