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Beneficial effect of β‐cyclodextrin assisted synthesis of CuO/Hydroxyapatite catalyst in toluene oxidation

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Two hydroxyapatite supported CuO (10 wt% Cu) catalysts were prepared using the wet impregnation method via the conventional process and with the addition of native β-cyclodextrin using Cu(NO3)2.3H2O as copper precursor and adopting a ratio of β-cyclodextrin to copper of 0.1. After the impregnation step, the materials were dried at 80 °C and calcined in flowing dry air at 400 °C. The copper supported materials were characterized in the dried state and after calcination by means of conventional methods including X-ray diffraction, TG-MS, H2-TPR-MS, Raman spectroscopy, UV-vis-DR, ToF-SIMS and XPS. It was found that β-cyclodextrin hasd a profound impact on the final properties of the catalysts, both in terms of reducibility and dispersion of active species. It is suggested that at the early stages of the calcination, some hydroxyl groups of the β-CD units in close contact with Ca2+ of hydroxyapatite could play the role of spacers between the copper-based entities thus minimizing the aggregation process of the CuO nanoparticles. Finally, these copper oxide catalysts prepared from β-cyclodextrin were able to oxidize toluene more efficiently than the conventional catalyst. The copper oxide particles generated by the thermal decomposition of Cu2(OH)3(NO3) were smaller than those formed with copper nitrate alone and exhibited a higher reducibility, two key determinants for VOC total oxidation on transition metal oxides.

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