Hydration of Epoxides on [CoIII(salen)] Encapsulated in Silica-Based Nanoreactors


  • This research was supported financially by the National Basic Research Program of China (2009CB623503) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (20921092). A salen ligand derived from 3,5-di-tert-butylsalicyclaldehyde and trans-1,2-diaminocyclohexane was used.


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A confined workspace has its benefits in the case of a non-acid solid catalyst prepared by encapsulating [CoIII(salen)] in the nanocages of mesoporous silica. The catalytic activity and selectivity of [CoIII(salen)] were increased significantly owing to the enhanced cooperative activation effect in the nanoreactors. Thus, ethylene oxide (EO) underwent hydration at a low 2:1 H2O/EO molar ratio to give ethylene glycol in up to 96 % yield.