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Chemistry. 2010 Dec 3;16(45):13509-18. doi: 10.1002/chem.201001508.

Titanosilicate beads with hierarchical porosity: synthesis and application as epoxidation catalysts.

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  • 1Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, K. U. Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23-bus 2461, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium.


Porous titanosilicate beads with a diameter of 0.5-1.5 mm (TiSil-HPB-60) were synthesized from a preformed titanosilicate solution with a porous anion-exchange resin as template. The bead format of this material enables its straightforward separation from the reaction mixture in its application as a liquid-phase heterogeneous catalyst. The material displays hierarchical porosity (micro/mesopores) and incipient TS-1 structure building units. The titanium species are predominantly located in tetrahedral framework positions. TiSil-HPB-60 is a highly active catalyst for the epoxidation of cyclohexene with t-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) and aqueous H(2)O(2). With both oxidants, TiSil-HPB-60 gave higher epoxide yields than Ti-MCM-41 and TS-1. The improved catalytic performance of TiSil-HPB-60 is mainly ascribed to the large mesopores favoring the diffusion of reagents and products to and from the titanium active sites. The epoxide yield and selectivity could be further improved by silylation of the titanosilicate beads. Importantly, TiSil-HPB-60 is a stable catalyst immune to titanium leaching, and can be easily recovered and reused in successive catalytic cycles without significant loss of activity. Moreover, TiSil-HPB-60 is active and selective in the epoxidation of a wide range of bulky alkenes.


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