Polymers (Basel). 2023 Jul 28;15(15):3206. doi: 10.3390/polym15153206.
A new para-aramid aerogel based on a polymer made by the reaction of terephthaloyl dichloride with 2-(4-aminophenyl)-1H-benzimidazol-5-amine (PABI) is introduced. The aerogel readily bound Pd (+2) ions and was used as a hydrogenation catalyst in some industrially actual reactions. The new material, which did not contain p-phenylenediamine moieties, was prepared in two form factors: bulk samples and spherical pellets of 700-900 μm in diameter. Aerogels were synthesized from 1% or 5% solutions of PABI in N,N-dimethylacetamide via gelation with acetone or isopropanol and had a density of 0.057 or 0.375 g/cm3 depending on the concentration of the starting PABI solution. The specific surface area of the obtained samples was 470 or 320 m2/g. Spherical pellets containing Pd were prepared from a solution of PdCl2 in PABI and were used as heterogeneous catalysts for the gas-phase hydrogenation of unsaturated organic compounds presenting the main types of industrially important substrates: olefins, acetylenes, aromatics, carbonyls, and nitriles. Catalytic hydrogenation of gaseous hexene-1, hexyne-3, cyclohexene, and acrylonitrile C=C bond proceeded with a 99% conversion at ambient pressure, but the catalyst failed to reduce acetone at 150 °C and benzene and ethyl acetate even at 200 °C. The only product of acrylonitrile hydrogenation was propionitrile. The prepared catalysts showed high selectivity, which is important for the chemistry of complex organic compounds.