Calcium and nitrogen species loaded into SBA-15 – a promising catalyst tested in Knoevenagel condensation†
Mesoporous silica of the SBA-15 type was used as a support for basic active centers generated by the incorporation of calcium species and (3-aminopropylo)trimethoxysilane (APTMS) or imidazole. The samples were characterized by low temperature N2 adsorption/desorption, XRD, XPS, FTIR spectroscopy, CO2-TPD, and elemental and thermal analyses. Calcium containing samples were analysed in 2,5-hexanedione dehydration and cyclization, while the activities of all the samples were examined in Knoevenagel condensation between benzaldehyde and malononitrile. It was demonstrated that the calcium species interacted with a silica support increasing the stabilization of organosilanes on the SBA-15 surface. A very high activity of the catalysts in Knoevenagel condensation indicated a synergistic interaction between calcium and the organic modifiers.