Study of the structural and morphological properties of copper catalysts supported on Al2O3 and TiO2 synthesized by the impregnation method

ABSTRACT Aluminum oxide and titanium oxide are widely used as catalytic support. Due to their characteristics and properties, they have several applications such as chemical processes, photocatalysis and pollution control. In this work, the catalytic supports of Al2O3 and TiO2 were impregnated with 2% of copper oxide by the method of impregnation. The catalysts were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Telle (BET) surface area and Infrared Spectroscopy techniques (FTIR). The results of XRD analysis presented the Cu/TiO2 catalyst with high degree of crystallinity where the peaks corresponding to the phases anatase, rutile and CuO are easily found, while the Cu/Al2O3 catalyst presented low degree of crystallinity. The samples morphology is in the form of agglomeration, the specific surface area was higher when copper metal was impregnated to the supports and the highest values was obtained with Cu/Al2O3 catalyst. FTIR analysis allowed the visualization of the main vibrations of the functional groups presents in the catalysts samples. According to the results, it was observed that the incorporation of copper oxide did not affect significantly the crystalline structure of TiO2 and Al2O3 and that at the calcination temperature of 500°C it is possible to obtain a high specific surface area and a more active phase resulting in a good characterization which is suitable for various industrial applications.