Rice husk (RH), an inexpensive waste material, was used to produce nanosilica. Acid treatment of RH followed by thermal combustion under controlled conditions gave 22.50% ash of which 90.469% was silica. Various chemical treatments in varied conditions for controlled combustion were investigated in order to produce highly purified nanosilica. The structural properties (such as X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy) of the silica were studied. The method was optimized, and the chemical composition of the product was determined by X-ray fluorescence and carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen analysis. Lime reactivity of the ashes was determined. At optimized conditions, a nanosized, highly purified silica (98.8 mass percentage) was produced with a high surface area, high reactivity, and 99.9% amorphous in form. Strength and number of acidic sites were measured by potentiometric titration. This nanosilica showed strong and a large number of acidic sites in comparison with commercial silica, making it as a good support for catalysts. This economic technology, as applied to waste material, also provides many benefits to the local agro-industry.
A novel biguanide-functionalized Fe 3 O 4 /SiO 2 magnetite nanoparticle with a core-shell structure was developed for utilization as a heterogeneous organosuperbase in chemical transformations. The structural, surface, and magnetic characteristics of the nanosized catalyst were investigated by various techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM), elemental analyzer (EA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), N 2 adsorption-desorption (BET and BJH) and FT-IR. The biguanide-functionalized Fe 3 O 4 /SiO 2 nanoparticles showed a superpara-magnetic property with a saturation magnetization value of 46.7 emu/g, indicating great potential for application in magnetically separation technologies. In application point of view, the prepared catalyst was found to act as an efficient recoverable nanocatalyst in nitroaldol and domino Knoevenagel condensation/Michael addition/cyclization reactions in aqueous media under mild condition. Additionally, the catalyst was reused six times without significant degradation in catalytic activity and performance.
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