Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Bela Torok

Second Advisor

Marianna Torok

Third Advisor

Niya Sa


This work details three studies concerning the development of green chemical synthesis with K-10 montmorillonite catalyst. The first project explores the synthesis and selectivity of azo-/aryl- couplings using K-10 montmorillonite-catalyzed solid phase diazotization. The selectivity of the couplings appears to be tunable in this study based on whether the coupling reaction is conducted under microwave irradiation or conventional heating conditions. The second project is an ultrasound-assisted and airflow-aided system that can produce (E)-β-nitrostyrene from styrene in a highly selective reaction in up to 81% yield. The third project focuses on the analysis of the changes that occur with the K-10 montmorillonite catalyst in the above nitration reaction using scanning electron microscopy in which the catalyst surface was examined. The K-10 catalyst recyclability and the potential reasons for the catalyst deactivation were assessed based on a novel model utilizing scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) techniques.


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