Acylation resins in a new monolithic format have been prepared by the functionalization of polyethyleneencased porous poly(chloromethylstyrene-co-divinylbenzene) disks. These disks have been obtained from a monolithic rod prepared by polymerization in a cylindrical glass mold, then cut into a disk format. A free radical azo initiator 4,4′-azobis(4-cyanovaleric acid) attached to available chloromethyl functionalities at the surface of the pores was used to initiate graft polymerization of 4-acetoxystyrene or chloromethylstyrene from the surface. Addition of a small percentage of divinylbenzene to the polymerization mixture leads to the formation of a layer of swellable reactive polymer gel at the surface of the macropores. This both prevents the undesirable increase in flow resistance through the monolith and improves the yield of grafting. The final reaction steps involve formation of an active phenolic moiety grafted to the disks and its reaction with acid anhydride. The use of grafted disks as acylating resin to transform various amines to amides in flow-through operations is demonstrated in a variety of solvents including alcohols. The acylation ability of the depleted disks can easily be recovered, and the disks can be reused many times.
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