• enabling technologies;
  • hydrogenation;
  • immobilization;
  • microreactors;
  • microwave heating;
  • palladium


Palladium particles were generated by reduction of palladate anions bound to an ion exchange resin inside microreactors. The size and distribution of the palladium particles differed substantially depending on the degree of cross-linking and the density of ion exchange sites on the polymer/glass composites, the latter parameter having a larger influence than the former. The polymer phase of the composite materials was used for the loading with clusters composed of palladium particles which are 1 to 10 nm in diameter. The reactivity and stability of six different palladium-doped polymer/glass composite samples for transfer hydrogenations was investigated both under conventional and microwave heating in the batch mode as well as under continuous flow conditions using the cyclohexene-promoted transfer hydrogenation of ethyl cinnamate as a model reaction. Regarding the heating method it was found that catalysts that are composed of larger metal particles perform better under microwave irradiating conditions whereas samples with smaller particle sizes perform better under conventional heating. Comparing batch experiments with flow-through experiments the latter technique gives better conversion. Reusability was better in microwave heated experiments than in traditional heating.