Sustainable Protocol for the Reduction of Nitroarenes by Heterogeneous Au@SBA-15 with NaBH4 under Flow Conditions
A gold-incorporated SBA-15 catalyst was prepared by a solvent-free ball-milling approach. The catalyst showed high reactivity and selectivity in the reduction of a variety of nitroarenes to anilines operating in absolute EtOH with NaBH4 as reducing agent. The catalyst was reused in batch conditions over five consecutive runs without any losses of activity or selectivity. Considering the high chemical stability and reusability of the catalytic system, a continuous-flow protocol was also investigated and defined to minimize the generation of waste and optimize the continuous reuse of the catalyst. Benefits of flow conditions were proven by turnover numbers that increased from 47.5 to 1902 and also by the minimization of both leaching (9.5 vs. 1 ppm) and E-factor values (8 vs. 23 in batch).