Zirconia nanoparticles were synthesized by precipitation, urea hydrolysis, amorphous citrate and combustion synthesis methods. The zirconia surface was subsequently modified by grafting Ba²⁺ species. The Ba²⁺ modified zirconia (Ba/ZrO₂) materials were characterized using XRD, Fourier analysis, UV-vis-DRS, FESEM and HRTEM techniques. XRD study indicated selective stabilization of the tetragonal phase of zirconia in the presence of Ba²⁺ species. Fourier line profile analysis of the XRD peaks revealed that the average crystallite size of the zirconia nanoparticles is in the range of 5-15 nm. The surface area, basicity and barium content of the material depend strongly on the method of synthesis. The Ba/ZrO₂ catalyst prepared by urea hydrolysis method exhibited higher surface area and barium content compared to other samples. The catalytic activity of the Ba/ZrO₂ catalyst was evaluated for synthesis of β-nitro alcohols and 2-amino 2-chromenes. The β-nitro alcohols were synthesized by condensation of aryl aldehydes and nitromethane. Similarly, the 2-amino 2-chromenes were synthesized by condensation of arylaldehydes, α-naphthol and malononitrile. The Ba/ZrO₂ catalyst was found to be highly efficient for synthesis of both classes of compounds providing excellent yield and purity of the products.
Volume 134, 2022
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