A study on the catalytic activity of a new acidic ordered mesoporous silica (SBA-15)

Document Type: Articles

Authors

1 Department of Chemistry, Islamic Azad University, Rasht Branch, Rasht, Iran.

2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Guilan, P.O. Box 41335-1914, Rasht, Iran.

Abstract

SBA-15 is an interesting mesoporous silica material having highly ordered nanopores and a large surface area, which is widely employed as a catalyst. This mesoporous silica due to silanol groups is easily functionalized by various organic materials. A new acidic ordered functionalized mesoporous silica (SBA-15-Aminopropyl-Benzyl-SO3H) has been introduced as an efficient catalyst for solvent-free esterification of fatty acids with ethanol. The structure of the catalyst and prepared materials have been characterized by FT-IR spectroscopy, XRD, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), TEM, acid-base titration and NH3-TPD techniques and N2 adsorption– desorption isotherm. The high loading acidic sites with hydrophobic nature of the catalyst facilitate the esterification reaction in high yield without using special methodology. The results demonstrated that the reaction can also be performed in water as an environmentally benign and inexpensive solvent. The catalyst has been easily separated from the reaction mixture and used for at least six reaction runs without any significant loss of activity.

Keywords


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