Kinetic Analysis of the Thermal Processing of Silica and Organosilica

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The incorporation of an organic group into sol–gel-derived silica causes significant changes in the structure and properties of these materials. Therefore, the thermal treatment of organosilica materials may require a different approach. In the present paper, kinetic parameters (activation energy, pre-exponential constant, and reaction models) have been determined from mass loss data for the dehydration, dehydroxylation, and decomposition reactions that take place upon heating silica and organosilica. Parameters were obtained by employing model-free isoconversional methods to data obtained under multiple heating rates as well as by multivariate analysis of the kinetics using a multistep reaction model with distributed activation energy. For silica, it can be concluded that the reaction atmosphere (i.e., inert or thermo-oxidative) has no influence on the reaction rate of the dehydration and dehydroxylation reactions that are responsible for the densification of the material. Under inert atmosphere, full dehydration can be reached without affecting the organic moiety. Achieving complete dehydroxylation of the organosilica is practically impossible as decomposition does manifest itself under commonly employed calcination temperatures. This indicates that prudence is required in designing a heat treatment program for these hybrid materials. To aid in optimizing the thermal treatment, a predictive model was developed, which can be used to forecast the extent of dehydration, dehydroxylation, and decomposition reactions under a multitude of temperature programs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5270-5277
JournalThe Journal of physical chemistry B
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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