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Tuning the porosity and physicochemical properties of SBA-15: RSM-assisted optimizing of traditional sol–gel process

Havva Hashemi, Hasan Behnejad, Lasse Rosendahl, and Ahmad Tavasoli

School of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Received: 25 September 2021  Accepted: 20 March 2022


As the literature lacks any systematic study upon the sol–gel process from the process point of view, herein the current work, the influence of key operating parameters including F127/TEOS ratio, Aging time, and calcination rate upon final product textural and bulk properties is aimed to be screened using response surface methodology (RSM). Under user-defined criteria, central composite design tool was used to optimize the process. Following RSM results, SBA-15 synthesis under F127/TEOS ratio of 1.0, an Aging time of 9.0 h, and a calcination rate of 2.3 °C min−1 led to an Engineering SBA-15 (E-SBA-15) with a specific surface area of 518.11 m2 g−1, total pore volume of 0.68 cm3 g−1, and mean pore diameter of 10.1 nm, associated with a deviation less than 5% from the predicted values. In light of textural properties acquired via employing BET, FT-IR, XRD, SEM, NH3-TPD, and crushing strength analyses, it was found that the adequately large mesoporous nature of the E-SBA-15 along with its unique surface chemistry is among the highest points distinguishing it from the Commercial counterparts. Such a feature might help widen its application in many industrial sectors, particularly as support material in heterogenous catalysis, especially when processing suffering from mass transfer limitation.

Keywords: SBA-15; Textural properties; Mesoporous materials; Response surface methodology (RSM)

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02187-z


Chemical Papers 76 (7) 4541–4560 (2022)

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