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Base-catalyzed nucleophyllic additions with a modified zeolite

By Tetsuo Satoh |

A new solid-state basic catalyst for forming carbon-carbon bonds has been developed by Masaru Ogura, an associate professor, and his research group at the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo (www.u-tokyo.ac.jp). The catalyst has been shown to accelerate the Knoevenagel condensation reaction of benzaldehyde and dimethyl malonate, which conventional, solid basic catalysts cannot do, says Ogura. And unlike existing catalysts, the modified zeolite does not require any pretreatment. The Knoevenagel condensation — a modification of the Adol condensation — is an essential reaction for forming carbon-carbon bonds. Two years ago, the research group first developed solid base materials by introducing nitrogen into porous silica, such as zeolites. Now, they have succeeded to enhance and control the basicity of the catalyst. This is achieved by introducing inorganic-organic hybrid materials that contain an alkyl group at the basic site, using a simple methylation of the nitrogen-substituted silica, SBA-15. This methyl group donates an electron to the nitrogen atom.
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