Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Urea-Assisted Synthesis and Characterization of Saponite with Different Octahedral (Mg, Zn, Ni, Co) and Tetrahedral Metals (Al, Ga, B), A Review

Version 1 : Received: 9 August 2020 / Approved: 10 August 2020 / Online: 10 August 2020 (06:29:57 CEST)

How to cite: Ponce, C.; Kloprogge, J. Urea-Assisted Synthesis and Characterization of Saponite with Different Octahedral (Mg, Zn, Ni, Co) and Tetrahedral Metals (Al, Ga, B), A Review. Preprints 2020, 2020080240 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0240.v1). Ponce, C.; Kloprogge, J. Urea-Assisted Synthesis and Characterization of Saponite with Different Octahedral (Mg, Zn, Ni, Co) and Tetrahedral Metals (Al, Ga, B), A Review. Preprints 2020, 2020080240 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0240.v1).

Abstract

Clay minerals surfaces potentially played a role in prebiotic synthesis through adsorption of organic monomers that give rise to highly concentrated systems; facilitate condensation and polymerization reactions; protection of early biomolecules from hydrolysis and photolysis; and surface-templating for specific adsorption and synthesis of organic molecules. This review presents processes of clay formation using saponite as a model clay mineral since it is shown to catalyze organic reactions, easy to synthesize in large and pure form, and has tunable properties. In particular, a method involving urea is presented as a reasonable analog of natural processes. The method involves a two-step process – 1) formation of the precursor aluminosilicate gel and 2) hydrolysis of a divalent metal (Mg, Ni, Co, Zn) by the slow release of ammonia from urea decomposition. The aluminosilicate gels in the first step forms a 4-fold-coordinated Al3+ similar to what is found in nature such as in volcanic glass. The use of urea, a compound figuring in many prebiotic model reactions, circumvents the formation of undesirable brucite, Mg(OH)2, in the final product by slowly releasing ammonia thereby controlling the hydrolysis of magnesium. In addition, the substitution of B and Ga for Si and Al in saponite is also described The saponite products from this urea-assisted synthesis were tested as catalysts for several organic reactions including Friedel-Crafts alkylation, cracking and isomerization reactions.

Subject Areas

clay minerals; heterogeneous catalysis; saponite; synthesis; urea

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