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Catalysts 2018, 8(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8020079

Heterogeneous Catalysis by Tetraethylammonium Tetrachloroferrate of the Photooxidation of Toluene by Visible and Near-UV Light

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053, USA
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Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract

Titanium dioxide is the most extensively used heterogeneous catalyst for the photooxidation of toluene and other hydrocarbons, but it has low utility for the synthesis of benzyl alcohol, of which little is produced, or benzaldehyde, due to further oxidation to benzoic acid and cresol, among other oxidation products, and eventually complete mineralization to CO2. Et4N[FeCl4] functions as a photocatalyst through the dissociation of chlorine atoms, which abstract hydrogen from toluene, and the photooxidation of toluene proceeds only as far as benzyl alcohol and benzaldehyde. Unlike TiO2, which requires ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, Et4N[FeCl4] catalyzes the photooxidation of toluene with visible light alone. Even under predominantly UV irradiation, the yield of benzyl alcohol plus benzaldehyde is greater with Et4N[FeCl4] than with TiO2. Et4N[FeCl4] photocatalysis yields benzyl chloride as a side product, but it can be minimized by restricting irradiation to wavelengths above 360 nm and by the use of long irradiation times. The photonic efficiency of oxidation in one experiment was found to be 0.042 mol/einstein at 365 nm. The use of sunlight as the irradiation source was explored. View Full-Text
Keywords: tetrachloroferrate; heterogeneous catalysis; photooxidation; toluene; benzyl alcohol; benzaldehyde tetrachloroferrate; heterogeneous catalysis; photooxidation; toluene; benzyl alcohol; benzaldehyde
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Barnard, K.R.; Bright, V.R.; Enright, R.J.; Fahy, K.M.; Liu, A.C.; Hoggard, P.E. Heterogeneous Catalysis by Tetraethylammonium Tetrachloroferrate of the Photooxidation of Toluene by Visible and Near-UV Light. Catalysts 2018, 8, 79.

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