Development of the acidity of zirconia-supported niobia catalysts

Thomas Onfroy, Guillaume Clet, Saeed B. Bukallah, David M. Hercules, Marwan Houalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


A series of NbOx/ZrO2 catalysts containing ≤ 2.67 wt % Nb (≈ 80% nominal surface coverage) was prepared by incipient wetness impregnation from niobium oxalate and oxalic acid solution. Isopropanol decomposition was used as test reaction to assay the acidity of the solids and to seek a correlation between acidity and catalytic performance. Lewis acidity was found for all systems, while significant Brönsted acidity was only developed for the Nb/Al2O3 catalysts. In the latter case, Brönsted acid sites were detected after a critical Nb loading. The decomposition of 2-propanol on NbOx/ZrO2 catalysts was directly related to the presence and abundance of Brönsted acid sites. By comparing the reported structure of Nb species with the observed isopropanol decomposition activity and the abundance of Brönsted acid sites, monomeric species did not exhibit Brönsted acidity and were essentially inactive. The catalytic activity was associated with polymeric Nb species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalCatalysis Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • 2,6-Dimethylpyridine adsorption
  • Acidity
  • FT-IR
  • Isopropanol dehydration
  • Niobia zirconia catalysts
  • Niobium oxide
  • Zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of the acidity of zirconia-supported niobia catalysts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this