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Silica multichannel monoliths modified with zirconia, titania and alumina have been used as reactive cores of microreactors and studied in chemoselective reduction (MPV) of cyclohexanon/benzaldehyde with 2-butanol as a hydrogen donor. The attachment of metal oxides to the silica surface was confirmed by FT–IR spectroscopy, and dispersion of metal oxides was studied by UV–Vis spectroscopy. the catalytic activity of the lewis acid centres in both chemical processes decreased in the order zirconia > alumina > titania. This activity is in good agreement with dispersion and coordination of metal species. good stability of zirconia-grafted reactors was confirmed. high porosity of the monoliths and the presence of large meandering flow-through channels with a diameter of ca. 30 mm facilitate fluid transport and very effective mixing in the microreactors. The whole synthesis process is perfectly in line with trends of modern flow chemistry
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