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Keywords:

  • amorphous materials;
  • carbon;
  • green chemistry;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • spectroscopy

Abstract

SO3H-bearing amorphous carbon prepared from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is studied as a heterogeneous Brønsted acid catalyst. Sulfonation of partially carbonized PVC produces amorphous carbon consisting of small SO3H-bearing carbon sheets linked by sp3-based aliphatic hydrocarbons. This carbon material exhibits much higher catalytic performance in the hydrolysis of cellobiose than conventional heterogeneous Brønsted acid catalysts with SO3H groups, including SO3H-bearing amorphous carbon derived from cellulose. This can be attributed to a high density of SO3H groups and the fast diffusion of reactants and products enabled by a flexible carbon network.