미래를 창조하는 포스텍 화학공학과
Heterogeneous enantioselective catalysis is an attractive approach to produce enantiopure chemicals, which are key intermediates for pharmaceutical products. Herein, mesocellular silica foams (MCFs) functionalized by primary, secondary, and tertiary amine groups were used as supports for Pt nanoparticles. The catalytic performances of the Pt/amine-functionalized MCFs were evaluated for the enantioselective hydrogenation of methyl pyruvate in the presence of cinchonidine. Compared to Pt/MCF, the Pt/amine-functionalized MCFs exhibited enhanced activity and enantioselectivity. Particularly, 0.5 wt% Pt/NH2-MCF showed a superior performance than 5 wt% Pt/Al2O3, a highly efficient catalyst in the enantioselective hydrogenation of α-keto esters, despite a 10 times lower Pt loading. Furthermore, the Pt/NH2-MCF yielded 100% conversion and 96% ee at 0.1 MPa H2 pressure during nine successive cycles, thus showing high reusability. The excellent performance of the Pt/amine-functionalized MCFs is attributed to the formation of electron-deficient Pt species through strong interactions between the Pt nanoparticles and amine groups.