Stabilized tetragonal zirconium oxide as a support for catalysts: evolution of the texture and structure on calcination in static air

P.D.L. Mercera, J.G. van Ommen, E.B.M. Doesburg, A.J. Burggraaf, J.R.H. Ross

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Single-phase tetragonal zirconium oxides have been made by the incorporation of 5.4 mol-% of Y3+ or La3+ in ZrO2 to form solid solutions. The samples were prepared by controlled coprecipitation from aqueous solutions of the respective metal chlorides at room temperature and at a constant pH of 10, followed by calcination at 500°C (in the case of the Y3+ -doped sample) or 600°C (in the case of the La3+ -doped sample) to effectuate the crystallization into the tetragonal phase. The process of crystallization of the hydrous zirconia precursor was found to be retarded by the incorporation of Y3+ or La3+, the latter giving the greater effect. Upon crystallization, stabilized tetragonal samples were obtained with high specific surface areas (SBET ca. 88 m2 g¿1 for both the samples) and well-developed mesoporous textures but without any microporosity. Both the Y3+ - and the La3+ -alloyed ZrO2 samples were found to fully retain the tetragonal phase upon calcination over the entire range of temperatures studied (up to 900°C). The thermal stability of the texture of zirconia was found to be considerably improved, in comparison with the undoped monoclinic material, by the stabilization of the crystal structure in the defect tetragonal form. In particular, incorporation of 5.4 mol-% of La3+ resulted in a support material which had a remarkable thermal stability. It is shown that the improvements in the thermal stability are derived from a strong inhibition of the processes of crystallite growth and the accompanying intercrystallite sintering and thus of the process of mass transport; the mass transport probably occurs by a mechanism of surface diffusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-96
Number of pages18
JournalApplied catalysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Stabilized tetragonal zirconia
  • Structural and textural stabilizers (Y3+ and La3+)
  • Preparation (coprecipitation)
  • Thermal stability
  • Catalyst characterization (TG; DTA; TEM; XRD; N2−physisorption)

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