Nanotech 2010

Continuous hydrogenation with a rotating catalytic nanobed entrapped in a magnetic field

H. Smugowski, U. Laska, P. Plucinski, G. Price, C. Frost
University of Bath, UK

Keywords: catalysis, magnetic nanoparticles


In recent years, catalysis has become the centre of interest for nanotechnology and nanoscience. In particular, the design of magnetic separable catalysts is an important concept from an environmental and economical point of view. The assembly of these kind of smart catalysts is achieved by combining the advantages of homogenous and heterogeneous systems: high selectivity and activity, lack of diffusion limitation, high surface area and easy separation. In parallel to the success in the development of nanocatalysis, one of the most exciting and significant developments on the frontier of chemistry and engineering is the innovative incorporation of flow processes into lab based synthesis platforms. This approach to chemical synthesis can provide improved reactivity, better selectivity and stability. Our work is aiming to combine the advantages of nanocatalysts with the superiority of flow chemistry over batch processes. We report the first, successful two phase hydrogenation reaction in a capillary continuous reactor catalyzed by a rotating magnetically entrapped nanocatalyst. Magnetic nanoparticles doped with palladium nanoparticles (MNP-Pd(0)) were trapped in the capillary reactor and rotated by rotating external magnet. The catalytic activity of the nanomagnets was tested for the hydrogenation of dimethyl itaconate (DMIT) as a benchmark reaction. Flow of DMIT solution and hydrogen was kept constant for 8 h with no lost of catalyst activity.
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