ACS Omega. 2022 Dec 15;7(51):47619-47633. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c04512. eCollection 2022 Dec 27.
Ecological recycling of waste materials by converting them into valuable nanomaterials can be considered a great opportunity for management and fortification of the environment. This article deals with the environment-friendly synthesis of Fe2O3 nanoparticles (composed of α-Fe2O3 and γ-Fe2O3) using waste toner powder (WTP) via calcination. Fe2O3 nanoparticles were then coated with silica using TEOS, functionalized with silane (APTMS), and immobilized with Co(II) to get the desired biocompatible and cost-effective catalyst, i.e., Co(II)-NH2-SiO2@Fe2O3. The structural features in terms of evaluation of morphology, particle size, presence of functional groups, polycrystallinity, and metal content over the surface were determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), powder X-ray diffraction (P-XRD), field emission gun-scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), high resolution-transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis, and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) studies. XPS confirmed the (II) oxidation state of Co, and ICP-AES and EDX supported the loading of Co(II) over the surface of the support. P-XRD proved the polycrystalline nature of the Fe2O3 core and even after functionalization. In comparison to previously reported methods, Co(II)-NH2-SiO2@Fe2O3 provides an eco-friendly procedure for the synthesis of polyhydroquinoline and quinazoline derivatives with several advantages such as a short reaction time and high yield. Polyhydroquinoline and quinazoline derivatives are important scaffolds in pharmacologically active compounds. Moreover, the developed nanocatalyst was recyclable, and HR-TEM and P-XRD confirmed the agglomeration in the recycled catalyst resulted in a decrease in yield after the fifth run. The present protocol provides a new strategy of recycling e-waste into a heterogeneous nanocatalyst for the synthesis of heterocycles via multicomponent reactions. This made the synthesized catalyst convincingly more superior to other previously reported catalysts for organic transformations.