4 years ago

Tuning the Catalytic Activity of Tertiary-Amine Functionalized Polyacrylonitrile Fibers by Adjusting the Surface Microenvironment

Tuning the Catalytic Activity of Tertiary-Amine Functionalized Polyacrylonitrile Fibers by Adjusting the Surface Microenvironment
Wenqin Zhang, Jian Cao, Pengyu Li, Minli Tao, Yuanyuan Liu
Polyacrylonitrile fibers were functionalized with different amines to construct special tridimensional catalytic microenvironments at the surface. The polarity of the microenvironments at the surface of the fiber catalyst was tuned by changing the ratio of hydrophobic and hydrophilic amines. The catalytic performances of these microenvironments were examined for a cyanation reaction in water. Among these fiber catalysts with different microenvironments, the one modified with more hydrophobic benzylamine groups (PANBTF) shows much higher catalytic activity than that modified by hydrophilic ethanolamine groups. PANBTF can efficiently and rapidly catalyze the cyanation reaction of benzaldehyde and ethyl cyanoformate in water with a yield of 94 % at room temperature within 40 min. Moreover, a mechanism promoted by the hydrophobic microenvironment has been proposed to explain the high and specific catalytic activity of PANBTF. In addition, this fiber catalyst exhibited excellent recyclability and reusability (8 times) without further treatment, and it also performed well in flow-chemistry tests and scaled-up experiments, which indicated potential for the application of PANBTF in industrial production. Environmental control: A polyacrylonitrile fiber catalyst, with catalytic activity that can be controlled by tuning the microenvironment polarity, has been designed and applied to a cyanation reaction in water. The catalyst is easy to prepare and has excellent activity (80–98 %) and catalytic recyclability (at least 8 cycles). It also performs well in flow chemistry and scaled-up experiments, which indicates potential applications in industry.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201700515

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