Surface Functionalization of Magnetite Nanoparticles with Sulfonic Acid and Heteropoly Acid: Efficient Magnetically Recoverable Solid Acid Catalysts
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New magnetically recoverable solid acid catalysts for acid-catalyzed reactions were designed via the surface chemical functionalization of silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles (SCMNPs) with sulfonic acid groups. First, the SCMNPs were covalently functionalized with 3-aminopropyl groups to achieve Amp-SCMNPs. Then, reaction of the Amp-SCMNPs with 1,4-butane sultone followed by acidification with phosphotungstic acid (HPW) or diluted sulfuric acid produced magnetically recoverable solid acid catalysts, HPW-ampsul-SCMNPs and H-ampsul-SCMNPs, respectively. Both catalysts were characterized by various physicochemical analyses such as Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission (ICP-OES) spectroscopies, vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analyses. Finally, the catalytic activities of the prepared catalysts were examined in the esterification of acetic acid with butanol and acetalization of benzaldehyde with ethylene glycol. Excellent catalytic efficiencies were obtained in both cases. The catalysts were consecutively recovered and reused five times without significant loss of their activities.
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