Sulfonated carbon aerogel derived from coir fiber as high performance solid acid catalyst for esterification

Mar'atul Fauziyah, Widiyastuti Widiyastuti, Heru Setyawan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


A heterogeneous solid acid catalyst was successfully derived from coir fiber, which is a cheap and abundantly available waste material. The coir fiber was first transformed into carbon aerogel to enhance the surface area and pore volume using a sol-gel method. H2SO4 immersion was then used to graft the [sbnd]SO3H functional group onto the produced carbon aerogel. Surprisingly, the NH4OH-urea system could maintain the honeycomb-like internal pore structure of the cellulose fiber in the resulting carbon aerogel, while the NaOH-urea system could not. Good physical properties, including a high surface area and large pore volume, could be achieved in the catalyst at a sulfonation temperature of 100 °C. The obtained sulfonated carbon catalyst also had excellent performances, with an ionic capacity of 4.45 meq/g, a conversion of 81–83% in a short time reaction, and good recyclability, with a slight decrease and then a constant value of 60–62% after the fourth cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1419
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Powder Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Cellulose aerogel
  • Coir fiber
  • NHOH-urea system
  • Solid acid catalyst
  • Sulfonated carbon aerogel


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