Novel heterogeneous bi-functional catalysts bearing tin or zinc inserted as single sites within the silica architecture acting as acid centres and decorated with imidazolium moieties as the nucleophile source were successfully synthesized. The materials were extensively characterized via various techniques including N2 physisorption, solid state nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and adsorption microcalorimetry. The solids were tested as catalysts for the conversion of carbon dioxide, selecting the synthesis of styrene carbonate as the target reaction. Both materials exhibited improved performances compared to the analogous solids functionalized with the sole imidazolium salt as well as to other materials reported in the literature. The Sn-based catalyst displayed excellent conversion also in the presence of various epoxides. In all experiments the bi-functional solid allowed reducing the reaction temperature below 150 °C. In the presence of glycidol the temperature was decreased down to 30 °C. The short synthesis protocol of the heterogeneous catalysts, together with the 100% atom economy of the target reaction and the low reaction temperature, make the entire process highly sustainable. Moreover, the Sn-based catalyst was stable under the selected reaction conditions and reusable for multiple catalytic cycles.
Plateforme technologique Caracterisation physico-chimiques
Equipement/installations: Plateforme technolgique