Magnetically recyclable nanocatalysts based on magnetite: an environmentally friendly and recyclable catalyst for esterification reactions

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Laboratório de Química Bioinorgânica e Catálise, Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Departamento de Química, Centro Politécnico, CP 19072, CEP 81531-980, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil.

Abstract

Solid magnetic nanoparticles (magnetite = Mag) composed of Fe3O4 and magnetite coated with silica (Fe3O4/SiO2 = Mag/Si) were prepared from inexpensive starting materials. The catalytic activity of the solids was investigated for palmitic acid esterification with methanol under solvothermal conditions. Both pure Fe3O4 (Mag) and silica-coated (Mag/Si) nanoparticles exhibited high catalytic activities and were easy to recover from the reaction environment using an external magnet. Furthermore, the magnetic nanoparticle catalysts were reused without significant loss of catalytic activity and showed high durability in typical acid-catalyzed reactions. XRD and SEM analyses were conducted before and after esterification, showing almost identical particle distribution in both fresh and reused catalysts.

Graphical Abstract

Magnetically recyclable nanocatalysts based on magnetite: an environmentally friendly and recyclable catalyst for esterification reactions

Highlights

  • Fe3O4/SiO2 as an efficient and inexpensive catalyst for esterification reaction.
  • The structure of the catalytic species Fe3O4 was maintained for four catalytic cycles.
  • Coating magnetic particles with silica prevented crystal aggregation.
  • The advantage of coating the magnetic nanoparticles with silica was experimentally demonstrated.

Keywords


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