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Influence of polyhydric solvents on the catalytic & adsorption properties of self-oriented mesoporous SBA-15 silica


Mesoporous materials (2–50 nm) have generated much interest due to its multi-faceted applications as catalysts, adsorbents and drug delivery systems. This study is the first of its kind to systematically investigate the effect of polyhydric solvents on the morphology, catalytic and adsorption properties of self-oriented mesoporous silica. Three different mesoporous SBA-15 silica materials were synthesized using Water (SW), Glycerol (SG) and Ethylene Glycol (SEG) as solvent. They were characterized using FE-SEM, HR-TEM, small angle XRD, FT-IR, BET and solid state NMR. Morphological studies such as pore characteristics, surface area and the functionalization were carried out by comparing their catalytic and adsorption properties. Each mesoporous sample was used to catalyze biodegradable aliphatic polyester synthesis namely poly (butylene succinate), poly (butylene pimelate) and poly (butylene sebacate) and compared with a conventional homogeneous catalyst SnCl2·2H2O. The results offered higher purity and yield of polyesters and they took the order as SW > SG > SEG. The adsorption efficiency of each mesoporous sample was compared using the fluorescent dye Rhodamine-B and it took a reverse order (SEG > SG > SW) to that of the catalytic efficiency. This difference may be attributed to the difference in free active sites, ordered morphology of pores and surface area. The synthesized polyesters were characterized using FT-IR, 1H NMR, XRD, GPC, DSC and the adsorption studies, using UV–Visible spectrophotometer.

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The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Nano Mission Council, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.

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Correspondence to Uma Maheswari Krishnan.

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Gandhi, S., Sethuraman, S. & Krishnan, U.M. Influence of polyhydric solvents on the catalytic & adsorption properties of self-oriented mesoporous SBA-15 silica. J Porous Mater 18, 329–336 (2011).

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  • Mesoporous catalyst
  • Aliphatic polyester
  • Polyhydric alcohol
  • Adsorption