Next Article in Journal
Synthesis and Biological Activity of Peptide Derivatives of Iodoquinazolinones/Nitroimidazoles
Previous Article in Journal
Efficient and Eco-Friendly Preparation of 4-Methyl-5-formyl-thiazole
Open AccessArticle

CuO and Ag2O/CuO Catalyzed Oxidation of Aldehydes to the Corresponding Carboxylic Acids by Molecular Oxygen

The Key Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorous Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P.R. China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2008, 13(4), 948-957; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules13040948
Received: 6 April 2008 / Revised: 17 April 2008 / Accepted: 17 April 2008 / Published: 21 April 2008

Abstract

Furfural was oxidized to furoic acid by molecular oxygen under catalysis by 150nm-sized Ag2O/CuO (92%) or simply CuO (86.6%). When 30 nm-size catalyst was used,the main product was a furfural Diels-Alder adduct. Detailed reaction conditions andregeneration of catalysts were investigated. Under optimal conditions, a series of aromaticand aliphatic aldehydes were oxidized to the corresponding acids in good yields.
Keywords: CuO; Ag2O/CuO; catalyzed oxidation. CuO; Ag2O/CuO; catalyzed oxidation.

Introduction

The transformation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids is an important reaction in organic synthesis. The commonly used oxidants for this transformation are NaClO2 [1,2,3,4,5,6,7], K2Cr2O7 [8,9], pyridinium chlorochromate [10], quinolinium dichromate [11,12,13], KMnO4 [14,15,16], H2O2[17,18] and so on. Organic solvents such as CH3CN, CH2Cl2, cyclohexane, formic acid and benzene are usually needed. Although some of them have been widely used, they still have several disadvantages: low selectivity, environmental contamination and so on. Catalytic oxidation by molecular oxygen is an eco-friendly method. However, most reported catalysts such as Ru/CeO2 [19] and Ag2O/Cu2O [20] are too expensive or difficult to prepare. Comparatively, Ag2O/Cu2O is an economical catalyst. Even so, it still needs to be regenerated, and there are no reports on its use for the above purpose, because it is almost impossible to keep Cu2O unchanged at high temperature.
Furoic acid, an important intermediate, is mainly obtained by oxidation of furfural. A series of reagents have been developed for this reaction, such as chromium species [9, 11, 13, 21, 22] and chlorite [2, 3, 23]. For the reasons mentioned above, we first investigated the oxidation of furfural to furoic acid by oxygen catalyzed by Ag2O/CuO. Detailed reaction conditions and catalyst regeneration were studied. In order to demonstrate the applicability of this method, some other aromatic aldehydes were oxidized to the corresponding aromatic carboxylic acids under optimized conditions in good yields. We also found that 150 nm-size CuO could catalyze the oxidation in a comparative yield to that obtained with an Ag2O/CuO system. This method has been used in industrial production of furoic acid.

Results and Discussion

Reaction conditions: Reaction temperature

Sodium hydroxide is needed to transform the formed acid to its salt, which is soluble in water. Otherwise the catalyst will be encapsulated by the formed acid. Aldehydes can undergo Cannizzaro reaction under basic conditions. The temperature has different effects on the kinetics of the desired oxidation and the undesired Cannizzaro reaction. Thus, it is crucial to find a suitable temperature for the reaction. As shown in Figure 1, the best temperature for both CuO and Ag2O/CuO catalyzed oxidation of furfural to furoic acid was 70˚C, while higher temperatures would decrease the adsorption of oxygen and give faster side reactions.
Figure 1. Effect of reaction temperature on furoic acid yield.
Figure 1. Effect of reaction temperature on furoic acid yield.
Molecules 13 00948 g001

pH value

Acid can react with the catalyst to form corresponding silver and copper carboxylates which can inhibit the catalytic reaction. Therefore, it is essential to neutralize the formed acid. Meanwhile, as mentioned above, alkali will promote the undesired Cannizzaro reaction of aldehydes. The effects of pH on the oxidation are shown in Figure 2. The optimal pH value was 13. The experiments were carried out at 70˚C.
Figure 2. Effect of pH value on furoic acid yield.
Figure 2. Effect of pH value on furoic acid yield.
Molecules 13 00948 g002

Amount of catalyst

More catalyst can shorten the reaction time and raise the yield. However, the reaction rate is also controlled by other conditions, such as the distribution of oxygen. Figure 3 shows that when the catalyst was increased to 30% wt of the mixture, the yield of furoic acid reached its maximum.
Figure 3. Effect of catalyst amount on furoic acid yield.
Figure 3. Effect of catalyst amount on furoic acid yield.
Molecules 13 00948 g003

Size of catalyst

In general, a smaller-sized catalyst will have a larger specific surface area and a better catalytic activity [24]. However, this was not the case in the Ag2O/CuO and CuO-catalyzed oxidation of furfural to furoic acid. When small nano-scale CuO and Ag2O/CuO (30 nm, Figure 4) powder were used, the main product showed a molecular weight of 300 by ESI-MS (Figure 5). Its structure is shown in Figure 6. This result suggests that small nano-scale CuO and Ag2O/CuO catalyze the Diels-Alder reaction more efficiently than the oxidation of aldehydes.
Figure 4. TEM spectra of different sizes of CuO.
Figure 4. TEM spectra of different sizes of CuO.
Molecules 13 00948 g004
Figure 5. Mass spectrum of the Diels-Alder reaction product.
Figure 5. Mass spectrum of the Diels-Alder reaction product.
Molecules 13 00948 g005
Figure 6. Product of the reaction catalyzed by 30 nm CuO and Ag2O/CuO.
Figure 6. Product of the reaction catalyzed by 30 nm CuO and Ag2O/CuO.
Molecules 13 00948 g006

Cation poisoning

Catalysts are always sensitive to certain cations. When deionized water was replaced with running water, no furoic acid could be obtained. Detailed experiments showed that Ca2+ inhibited the reaction and Mg2+ just made the product darker while Na+, K+, Cu2+ and Fe3+ did little harm.

Catalyst regeneration and aging

Catalyst regeneration is essential for industrial production. The recycled catalyst could not be used directly because some organic matter was adsorbed on the catalyst and part of the CuO had been reduced to Cu2O and Cu (Figure 7 and Figure 8). The recycled catalyst was first washed with hot deionized water to get rid of most organic adsorbates. Calcination was then performed to oxidize the reduced Cu2O and Cu to CuO.
Figure 7. XRD spectra of Ag2O/CuO; a) newly prepared; b) used 8 times; c) used 18 times; peaks with * are from Cu2O, # are from Cu, o are from Ag2O.
Figure 7. XRD spectra of Ag2O/CuO; a) newly prepared; b) used 8 times; c) used 18 times; peaks with * are from Cu2O, # are from Cu, o are from Ag2O.
Molecules 13 00948 g007
Figure 8. XRD spectra of CuO: d) newly prepared; e) used 3 times; peaks with * are from Cu2O, # are from Cu.
Figure 8. XRD spectra of CuO: d) newly prepared; e) used 3 times; peaks with * are from Cu2O, # are from Cu.
Molecules 13 00948 g008
Figure 9. Effect of CuO recycling temperature on furoic acid yield.
Figure 9. Effect of CuO recycling temperature on furoic acid yield.
Molecules 13 00948 g009
Experiments showed that the calcination temperature greatly affected the recovery of catalyst activity and the optimal temperature was around 250 °C (Figure 9).
With recycling, the catalyst aged gradually. The product acid could erode the catalyst and cause remodification of the catalyst surface. Calcination also caused a granular aggregate of CuO powder (Figure 10). These factors caused the specific surface area of CuO powder to decrease, so less oxygen could be adsorbed. For the Ag2O/CuO catalyst, friction also caused Ag2O to desquamate from the CuO (Figure 10). Therefore, the catalysts gradually became aged, as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 10. TEM spectra of the catalyst Ag2O/CuO; a) used 3 times; b) used 18 times.
Figure 10. TEM spectra of the catalyst Ag2O/CuO; a) used 3 times; b) used 18 times.
Molecules 13 00948 g010
Figure 11. Effect of number of Ag2O/CuO recycling times on furoic acid yield
Figure 11. Effect of number of Ag2O/CuO recycling times on furoic acid yield
Molecules 13 00948 g011

Application of the catalysts

Ag2O/CuO and CuO could also catalyze the oxidation of other aromatic aldehydes to their corresponding acids in good yields. Ag2O/CuO always gave better results. Comparatively, CuO has many special advantages, such as low cost, easy preparation and regeneration. The results are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Oxidation of aromatic aldehydes to corresponding carboxylic acids
Table 1. Oxidation of aromatic aldehydes to corresponding carboxylic acids
AldehydeCatalystYield of carboxylic acid/%
FurfuralAg2O/CuO92.0
FurfuralCuO86.6
BenzaldehydeAg2O/CuO74.5
BenzaldehydeCuO66.0
4-OH-3-MeO-benzaldehydeAg2O/CuO81.3*
4-OH-3-MeO-benzaldehydeCuO76.0*
4-Nitro-benzaldehydeAg2O/CuO78.6**
4-Nitro-benzaldehydeCuO71.5**
4-MeO-benzaldehydeAg2O/CuO73.4
4-MeO-benzaldehydeCuO64.2
* Ethanol was added to dissolve 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde.
**Toluene was added to dissolve 4-nitrobenzaldehyde.

Conclusions

Under optimized conditions, 150 nm-size Ag2O/CuO and CuO can catalyze the oxidation of aromatic aldehydes to their corresponding carboxylic acids by molecular oxygen in good yields. Obviously, CuO is a better choice for the industrial production in that it can be easily collected and regenerated. Small nano-scale (30 nm) CuO and Ag2O/CuO catalysts favor Diels-Alder reactions instead of the oxidation of furfural.

Experimental

General

All chemical reagents were of analytical grade. XRD experiments were carried out on a D8 Advance Bruker X-ray Diffractometer with monochromatized CuKα (λ=1.5418 Ǻ) radiation. The morphology and particle size were measured using a Hitachi H-800 transmission electron microscope (TEM). The accelerating voltage of the electron beam was 200 kV. 1H- and 13C NMR spectra were recorded on a JEOL JNM ECA-300 (300 MHz) instrument. Mass spectra were obtained on a Bruker ESQUIRE-LC.

Preparation of Ag2O/CuO

CuO (150 nm) powder (23.7 g) was added to a solution of AgNO3 (1.83 g) in deionized water (20 mL). After stirring well for 10 minutes, the mixture was heated to vaporize the water. The precursor was then calcined at 400 ˚C for 3 hours to promote the decomposition of AgNO3. The heating rate was maintained at 5 ˚C/min.

Oxidation of aldehydes

To a 500 mL five-necked round bottom flask were added catalyst (5 g) and deionized water (150 mL). Solutions of NaOH (6 g) in deionized water (30 mL) and aldehyde (0.15 mol) were placed separately in two constant pressure dropping funnels. Then oxygen was blown into the flask while ts contents were heated and vigorously stirred. When the temperature reached 70 ˚C, the NaOH aq and the aldehyde were dropped into the flask in proportional amounts. It took about 20 min to add all the reagents while the temperature was kept at 70 ˚C. After that, the mixture was filtered to recycle the catalyst. 30% (wt) H2SO4 (25 mL) was added to the filtrate while stirring. The product precipitated and was filtered, washed with water and dried. The used catalyst was first washed thoroughly with hot water to remove adsorbates. Then the catalyst was calcined for regeneration.

References and Notes

  1. Zanka, A. A simple and highly practical oxidation of primary alcohols to acids mediated by 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-piperidinyloxy (TEMPO). Chem. Pharm. Bull. 2003, 51, 888–889. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Babu, B.R.; Balasubramaniam, K.K. Simple and facile oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids. Org. Prep. Proced. Int. 1994, 26, 123–125. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  3. Dalcanale, E.; Montanari, F. Selective oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids with sodium chlorite-hydrogen peroxide. J. Org. Chem. 1986, 51, 567–569. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  4. Bal, B.S.; Childers, W.E.; Pinnick, H.W. Oxidation of α,β-unsaturated aldehydes. Tetrahedron 1981, 37, 2091–2096. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  5. Bayle, J.P.; Perez, F.; Courtieu, J. Oxidation of aldehydes by sodium chlorite. Bull. Soc. Chim. Fr. 1990, 4, 565–567. [Google Scholar]
  6. Kumaraswamy, G.; Jena, N.; Sastry, M.N.V.; Kumar, B.A. An expeditious, practical large scale synthesis of 4-amino-2-chloro-6,7-dimethoxyquinazoline. Org. Prep. Proced. Int. 2004, 36, 341–346. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  7. Kamal, A.; Reddy, B.S.N.; Reddy, G.S.K.; Ramesh, G. Design and synthesis of C-8 linked pyrrolobenzodiazepine-naphthalimide hybrids as anti-tumor agents. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2002, 12, 1933–1936. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  8. Gupta, K.K.S.; Dey, S.; Gupta, S.S.; Adhikari, M.; Banerjee, A. Evidence of esterification during the oxidation of some aromatic aldehydes by chromium(VI) in acid medium and the mechanism of the oxidation process. Tetrahedron 1990, 46, 2431–2444. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  9. Hurd, C.D.; Garrett, J.W.; Osborne, E.N. Furan reactions. IV. Furoic acid from furfural. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1933, 55, 1082–1084. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. Salehi, P.; Firouzabadi, H.; Farrokhi, A.; Gholizadeh, M. Solvent-free oxidations of alcohols, oximes, aldehydes and cyclic acetals by pyridinium chlorochromate. Synthesis 2001, 15, 2273–2276. [Google Scholar]
  11. Chaubey, G.S.; Das, S.; Mahanti, M.K. Kinetics of the oxidation of heterocyclic aldehydes by quinolinium dichromate. Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn. 2002, 75, 2215–2220. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  12. Balasubramanian, K.; Prathiba, V. Quinolinium dichromate - a new reagent for oxidation of alcohols. Indian J. Chem. Sect. B 1986, 25, 326–327. [Google Scholar]
  13. Chaubey, G.S.; Kharsyntiew, B.; Mahanti, M.K. Oxidation of substituted 2-furaldehydes by quinolinium dichromate: A kinetic study. J. Phys. Org. Chem. 2004, 17, 83–87. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  14. Takemoto, T.; Yasuda, K.; Ley, S.V. Solid-supported reagents for the oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids. Syn. Lett. 2001, 10, 1555–1556. [Google Scholar]
  15. Zhivich, A.B.; Myznikov, Y.E.; Koldobskii, G.I.; Ostrovskii, V.A. XXV. Tetrazolium salts - new phase-transfer catalysts. J. Gen. Chem. USSR (Engl.Transl.) 1988, 58, 1701–1708. [Google Scholar]
  16. Jursic, B. Surfactant-assisted permanganate oxidation of aromatic compounds. Can. J. Chem. 1989, 67, 1381–1383. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  17. Heaney, H. Newbold; Newbold, A.J. The oxidation of aromatic aldehydes by magnesium monoperoxyphthalate and urea-hydrogen peroxide. Tetrahedron Lett. 2001, 42, 6607–6610. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  18. Sato, K.; Hyodo, M.; Takagi, J.; Aoki, M.; Noyori, R. Hydrogen peroxide oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids: an organic solvent-, halide- and metal-free procedure. Tetrahedron Lett. 2000, 41, 1439–1442. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  19. Vocanson, F.; Guo, Y.P.; Namy, J.L.; Kagan, H.B. Dioxygen oxidation of alcohols and aldehydes over a cerium dioxide-ruthenium system. Synth. Commun. 1998, 28, 2577–2582. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  20. Harrison, R.J.; Moyle, M. 2-Furoic acid. Org. Syn. 1956, 36, 36. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  21. Chakraborty, T.K.; Chandrasekaran, S. Facile oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids with chromium(V) reagents. Synth. Commun. 1980, 10, 951–956. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  22. Kharnaior, G.G.; Chaubey, G.S.; Mahanti, M.K. Kinetics of oxidation of 2-furfural by quinolinium dichromate. Oxid. Commun. 2001, 24, 377–381. [Google Scholar]
  23. Moore, J.A.; Partain, E.M., III. Oxidation of furfuraldehydes with sodium chlorite. Org. Prep. Proced. Int. 1985, 17, 203–205. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  24. Pan, Z.Z.; Sha, Y.W. Effect and regeneration of heterogeneous palladium/charcoal catalysts poisoned by tetramethylthiourea-quinoline in the stereoselective hydrogenation of methacycline to α-doxycycline. Appl. Catal. A-Gen. 2003, 252, 347–352. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  • Sample availability: Contact the authors.
Back to TopTop