Synthesis of amine functionalized mesoporous silicas templated by castor oil for transesterification

Elianaso Elimbinzi, Stephen S. Nyandoro, Egid B. Mubofu, Amin Osatiashtiani, Jinesh C. Manayil, Mark A. Isaacs, Adam F. Lee, Karen Wilson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mesoporous silicas were synthesized via a surfactant-templated sol-gel route using castor oil as the templating agent under acidic medium. The resulting silicas were subsequently amine functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (NH2-MTS), [3-(2-aminoethylamino)-propyl]trimethoxysilane (NN-MTS), and [3-(diethylamino)propyl]trimethoxysilane(DN-MTS) to introduce surface basicity. Surface physicochemical properties were characterized by field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEGSEM), nitrogen porosimetry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS). As-synthesised materials exhibit type IV adsorption-desorption isotherms characteristic of mesoporous structures. Clusters of spherical shaped materials were observed by FEGSEM, suggesting growth of silica occurs within colloidal dispersions. High-resolution N 1s XP spectra and DRIFT spectra confirmed the presence of amine groups in the organo-amine functionalised mesoporous silicas. The amine functionalised mesoporous silicas were active for the transesterification of tributyrin with methanol, with conversion found to increase from NH2-MTS< NN-MTS< DN-MTS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2261-2269
Number of pages9
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number38
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

This article has been published in a revised form in RSC Advances []. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © copyright holder.

Funding: Leverhulme Royal Society African Award and Mkwawa University College of Education (MUCE)


  • catalytic
  • heterogenous
  • mesoscale
  • porosity
  • sol-gel


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