Imperial College London

Ms Judy Jingwei Xie

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Research Postgraduate







Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

3 results found

Nezam I, Xie J, Golub KW, Carneiro J, Olsen K, Ping EW, Jones CW, Sakwa-Novak MAet al., 2021, Chemical kinetics of the autoxidation of poly(ethylenimine) in CO2 sorbents, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, ISSN: 2168-0485

The oxidative degradation rates of a CO2 sorbent composed of a mesoporous alumina impregnated with poly(ethylenimine) (PEI) are measured under systematically varied conditions and a reaction rate law is created. Good agreement is shown between the rate of oxidation obtained via in situ calorimetric heat measurement during oxidative degradation reactions and the loss of CO2 capture performance presented as amine efficiency (mol CO2/mol amine). PEI mass loss and elemental composition are tracked over the course of the reaction and used in conjunction with the oxidation rate measurements to shed insight into the oxidation reaction(s). These data, in combination with measurements of the heat of reaction, suggest a common reaction set across the range of temperatures, oxygen concentrations, and sorbent compositions tested. The data are consistent with the basic autoxidation scheme (BAS), the accepted mechanism of autoxidation of aliphatic polymers. We propose a lumped kinetic model to describe the oxidation reaction set and estimate an activation energy of 105 kJ/mol and an oxygen reaction order of 0.5–0.7 from the data accordingly. These parameters can be incorporated into process cycle models to estimate the material lifetime, a critical uncertainty in the deployment of DAC technologies.

Journal article

Scholz D, Xie J, Kröcher O, Vogel Fet al., 2019, Mechanochemistry-assisted hydrolysis of softwood over stable sulfonated carbon catalysts in a semi-batch process, RSC Advances: an international journal to further the chemical sciences, Vol: 9, Pages: 33525-33538, ISSN: 2046-2069

The hydrolysis of lignocellulose is the first step in saccharide based bio-refining. The recovery of homogeneous acid catalysts imposes great challenges to the feasibility of conventional hydrolysis processes. Herein, we report a strategy to overcome these limitations by using stable sulfonated carbons as solid acid catalysts in a two-step process, composed of mechanocatalytic pretreatment and secondary hydrolysis in a semi-batch reactor. Without mechanocatalytic pre-treatment the hydrolysis of the insoluble substrate largely occurs through homogeneously catalyzed reactions. Ball-milling induced amorphization promotes a substantially higher substrate reactivity, because homogeneous hydrolysis occurs preferentially from less ordered structural domains in cellulose. In contrast, concerted ball-milling (CBM) of cellulose with the sulfonated carbon promotes a heterogeneously catalyzed hydrolysis to soluble oligosaccharides. By performing an in-depth physicochemical characterization of cellulose subjected to CBM treatment with different carbons, we reveal the crucial role of strong Brønsted acid sites in facilitating mechanocatalytic depolymerization. Recyclability experiments confirmed that despite being subject to profound structural changes during repeated pre-treatment/semi-batch hydrolysis cycles, the sulfonated carbon retained its catalytic activity. The combination of mechanocatalytic pretreatment with strong solid acids and hydrolysis in the semi-batch reactor was successfully extrapolated for the first time to the hydrolysis of real lignocellulose to achieve quantitative yields in C5 and high yields in C6 derived products.

Journal article

Xie J, Ellebracht NC, Jones CW, 2019, Inter- and intramolecular cooperativity effects in alkanolamine-based acid–base heterogeneous organocatalysts, ACS Omega, Vol: 4, Pages: 1110-1117, ISSN: 2470-1343

Intramolecular cooperativity in heterogeneous organocatalysts is investigated using alkanolamine-functionalized silica acid–base catalysts for the aldol condensation reaction of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde and acetone. Two series of catalysts, one with and one without silanol-capping, are synthesized with varied alkyl linker lengths (two to five) connecting secondary amine and terminal hydroxyl functionalities. The reactivity of these catalysts is assessed to determine the relative potential for intermolecular (silane amine–surface silanol) vs intramolecular (amine–hydroxyl within a single silane) cooperativity, the impact of inhibitory surface–silane interactions, and the role of alkyl linker length and flexibility. For the array of catalysts tested, those with longer linker lengths generally give increased catalytic activity, although the turnover frequency trends differ between catalysts with and without surface silanol capping. Catalysts with alkyl-substituted amines lacking a terminal hydroxyl demonstrate an adverse effect of chain length, where the larger alkyl substituent on the amine provides steric hindrance depressing catalytic activity, while giving additional evidence for improved rates afforded by intramolecular cooperativity in the alkanolamine materials. The silanol-capped alkanolamine catalyst with the longest alkyl linker is found to be the most active alkanolamine catalyst due to its hydrophobized surface, which removes hypothesized silanol–alkanolamine inhibitory interactions, with the sufficient length and flexibility of its amine–hydroxyl linker allowing for favorable conformations for cooperativity. This study demonstrates the feasibility of and important factors affecting intramolecular cooperative activity in acid–base heterogeneous organocatalysis.

Journal article

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