Solid acid


Most of the acids solid in state are generally organic acids that includes oxalic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, maleic acid, etc. Examples include oxides, which function as Lewis acids including silico-aluminates (zeolites, alumina, silico-alumino-phosphate), and sulfated zirconia. Many transition metal oxides are acidic, including titania, zirconia, and niobia.[1] Such acids are used in cracking. Many solid Brønsted acids are also employed industrially, including sulfonated polystyrene, solid phosphoric acid, niobic acid, and heteropolyoxometallates.[2]


Solid acids are used in catalysis in many industrial chemical processes, from large-scale catalytic cracking in petroleum refining to the synthesis of various fine chemicals.[3]

One large scale application is alkylation, e.g., the combination of benzene and ethylene to give ethylbenzene. Another application is the rearrangement of cyclohexanone oxime to caprolactam.[4] Many alkylamines are prepared by amination of alcohols, catalyzed by solid acids.

Solid acids can be used as electrolytes in fuel cells.[1]


  1. Boysen, Dane A.; Uda, Tetsuya; Chisholm, Calum R. I.; Haile, Sossina M. (2004-01-02). "High-Performance Solid Acid Fuel Cells Through Humidity Stabilization" (PDF). Science. 303 (5654): 68–70. Bibcode:2004Sci...303...68B. doi:10.1126/science.1090920. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 14631049.
  2. Busca, Guido "Acid Catalysts in Industrial Hydrocarbon Chemistry" Chemical Reviews 2007, volume 107, 5366-5410. doi:10.1021/cr068042e
  3. "Solid Acid Catalysis: From Fundamentals to Applications". CRC Press. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  4. Michael Röper, Eugen Gehrer, Thomas Narbeshuber, Wolfgang Siegel "Acylation and Alkylation" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2000. doi:10.1002/14356007.a01_185
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