Nano Research

Article Title

Synthesis, characterization, and catalytic application of highly ordered mesoporous alumina-carbon nanocomposites


Nanocomposite, mesoporous, alumina, carbon, cellulose


Highly ordered mesoporous carbon–alumina nanocomposites (OMCA) have been synthesized for the first time by a multi-component co-assembly method followed by pyrolysis at high temperatures. In this synthesis, resol phenol–formaldehyde resin (PF resin) and alumina sol were respectively used as the carbon and alumina precursors and triblock copolymer Pluronic F127 as the template. N2-adsorption measurements, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that, with an increase of the alumina content in the nanocomposite from 11 to 48 wt.%, the pore size increased from 2.9 to 5.0 nm while the ordered mesoporous structure was retained. Further increasing the alumina content to 53 wt.% resulted in wormhole-like structures, although the pore size distribution was still narrow. The nanocomposite walls are composed of continuous carbon and amorphous alumina, which allows the ordered mesostructure to be well preserved even after the removal of alumina by HF etching or the removal of carbon by calcination in air. The OMCA nanocomposites exhibited good thermostability below 1000 °C; at higher temperatures the ordered mesostructure partially collapsed, associated with a phase transformation from amorphous alumina into γ-Al2O3. OMCA-supported Pt catalysts exhibited excellent performance in the one-pot transformation of cellulose into hexitols thanks to the unique surface properties of the nanocomposite.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press