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This work explores the novel one-pot aqueous phase synthesis of mesoporous phenolic-hyperbranched polyethyleneimine resins without the use of a template, and their utility as heterogeneous catalysts in batch reactors and continuous microreactors. Catalyst surface areas of up to 432 m2/g were achieved with a uniform Pd distribution and an interconnected, highly porous, network structure, confirmed through Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area measurements, scanning electron microscopes (SEM), X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The heterogeneous catalysts achieved a maximum 98.98 ± 1% conversion in batch Suzuki couplings, with conversions being dependent upon reaction conditions, reactant chemistries, Pd loading and catalyst surface area. The catalysts were shown to be recyclable with only a marginal loss in conversion achieved after five runs. Up to 62 ± 5% and 46.5 ± 8% conversions at 0.2 mL/s and 0.4 mL/s flow rates, respectively, were achieved in a continuous microreactor. Understanding the mechanism of action of this mesoporous resin is a future research area, which could help expand the application vistas for this catalyst platform.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.