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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2011 Apr 1;356(1):262-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2010.12.031. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Transition metal complexes on mesoporous silica nanoparticles as highly efficient catalysts for epoxidation of styrene.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, China.


We have synthesized a series of catalysts for epoxidation of styrene by immobilizing salicylaldimine transition metal (copper, manganese, and cobalt) complexes on mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with diameters of 120-150 nm. The prepared catalysts are characterized by infrared (IR) spectra, thermal gravimetric analyses (TGA), inductively coupled plasma (ICP), CHN elemental analysis, nitrogen adsorption-desorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These catalysts possess excellent catalytic efficiency in epoxidation of styrene when using tert-BuOOH (TBHP) as oxidant. Styrene shows a high conversion (∼99%) as well as epoxide selectivity (∼80%) over Cu-MSN catalysts, and high conversion (∼99%) and moderate epoxide selectivity (∼65%) over Mn-MSN and Co-MSN catalysts. The recycling experiment results indicate that these catalysts maintain catalytic activity even after being used for three cycles. Our results indicate that MSNs can serve as better catalyst supports.

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