This work reports the preparation of a novel hybrid nanocatalyst through the immobilization of oxidovanadiumIV acetylacetonate ([VO(acac)2]) onto silica nanoparticles functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and its catalytic application in the allylic epoxidation of geraniol. All the nanomaterials were characterized by chemical analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The parent and amine-functionalized silica nanoparticles were also analyzed by 29Si and 13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and the supported [VO(acac)2] nanomaterial was characterized by magnetic susceptibility measurement. The APTES organosilane was grafted onto the silica nanoparticles with an efficiency of 90%, through mono- and bidentate covalent grafting. The [VO(acac)2] complex was covalently anchored on the surface of the APTES-functionalized silica nanoparticles with 25% of efficiency. Magnetic susceptibility measurements in combination with XPS indicated that the oxidation state of the metal center (VO2+) was preserved upon the immobilization reaction. The catalytic performance of the novel hybrid [VO(acac)2] nanocatalyst was evaluated in the epoxidation of geraniol, at room temperature, using tert-butyl hydroperoxide as an oxygen source. The nanocatalyst presented 100% of substrate conversion, 99% of selectivity towards the 2,3-epoxygeraniol product and was stable upon reuse in further four cycles.
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