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Synthesis of Amine Functionalized Mesoporous Silicas Templated by Castor Oil for Transesterification

  • Elianaso Elimbinzi (a1), Stephen S. Nyandoro (a1), Egid B. Mubofu (a1), Amin Osatiashtiani (a2), Jinesh C. Manayil (a2), Mark A. Isaacs (a2), Adam F. Lee (a3) and Karen Wilson (a3)...


Mesoporous silicas were synthesized via a surfactant-templated sol-gel route using castor oil as the templating agent under acidic medium. The resulting silicas were subsequently amine functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (NH2-MTS), [3-(2-aminoethylamino)-propyl]trimethoxysilane (NN-MTS), and [3-(diethylamino)propyl]trimethoxysilane(DN-MTS) to introduce surface basicity. Surface physicochemical properties were characterized by field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEGSEM), nitrogen porosimetry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS). As-synthesised materials exhibit type IV adsorption-desorption isotherms characteristic of mesoporous structures. Clusters of spherical shaped materials were observed by FEGSEM, suggesting growth of silica occurs within colloidal dispersions. High-resolution N 1s XP spectra and DRIFT spectra confirmed the presence of amine groups in the organo-amine functionalised mesoporous silicas. The amine functionalised mesoporous silicas were active for the transesterification of tributyrin with methanol, with conversion found to increase from NH2-MTS< NN-MTS< DN-MTS.


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