Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.586, 233-242, 2021
Integrated fast-mass transfer and high Ti-sites utilization into hybrid amphiphilic TS@PMO catalyst towards efficient solvent-free methyl oleate epoxidation
For solvent-free catalytic oxidations, low efficiency resulted from poor mass transfer and insufficient utilization of active centers remains a tough problem. Herein, we demonstrate a novel hybrid core-shell catalyst (TS@PMO) with an amphiphilic shell and a Ti-surface-enriched mesoporous TiO2-SiO2 (TS) core to address this challenge. Such TS@PMO realizes its amphiphilicity via an ex situ formed periodic mesoporous organosilica (PMO) shell. Simultaneously, by a unique etching effect induced by organic precursor growth on [SiO4] tetrahedra in TS core, active Ti sites are facilely enriched in near-surface layer of core and extra mesoporous cavities are introduced for substrate reservation. When applied for solvent-free epoxidation of methyl oleate (MO) with H2O2, TS@PMO exhibits remarkably boosted catalytic activity (X = 90.2%) and epoxide selectivity (S = 70.2%), overwhelming the unmodified titanosilicate (X = 63.7%, S = 49.2%) and Ti-containing organosilica (X = 39.8%, S = 25.0%). Such result benefits from an evidently enhanced interphase mass transfer and sufficiently accessible active Ti sites in TS@PMO. On the one hand, amphiphilic PMO shell can efficiently collect hydrophobic substrate and H2O2, while abundant mesopores in the shell offer open-path for them to access active sites in the core; on the other hand, an increased framework Ti (IV) density and their surface-enrichment in TS core greatly improve the utilization of active Ti sites. This study effectively makes up for the deficiencies of slow mass transfer and insufficient utilization of conventional titanosilicates in biphasic reactions, which paves a new avenue to exploit other hybrid catalysts for high-efficiency solvent-free catalysis. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.