Introducing small amounts of fumed silica into mixtures of organic liquids, which contain ethylene glycol dimethylacrylate (EGDMA), a hydrocarbon (such as decane), and one of the following monomers: allylchloride (AC), 3,4-dichloro-1-butene (DCB), or methyl methacrylate (MMA), enabled their dispersion into an aqueous solution of surfactant with the generation of stable emulsions. Such emulsions cannot be generated in the absence of fumed silica. Functionalized polymer latexes of poly(AC–EGDMA), poly(DCB-EGDMA), and poly(MMA–EGDMA) could, thus, be prepared through the polymerization of the emulsions. The chloride units in the poly(AC–EGDMA) or in the poly(DCB–EGDMA) were subsequently converted to quaternary ammonium salts. The resulted polymer-supported quaternary ammonium salt together with RuCl3, 4-N-methylmorpholine N-oxide (NMO) and ammonium persulfate were employed in the catalytic oxidation of toluene to benzoic acid. Furthermore, the presence of fumed silica in the emulsions enabled the preparation of latexes containing rather uniformly distributed inorganic particle clusters of submicrometer size. Polymer–inorganic blends of NaY zeolite–(SiOx)n/P (MMA–EGDMA), zeolite (4A)–(SiOx)n/P (MMA–EGDMA), TiO2–(SiOx)n/P (MMA–EGDMA), CuO–(SiOx)n/P (MMA–EGDMA), and Cu-(SiOx)n/P (MMA–EGDMA) were thus obtained. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.