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Open AccessArticle

Fabrication of Bimetal CuFe2O4 Oxide Redox-Active Nanocatalyst for Oxidation of Pinene to Renewable Aroma Oxygenates

DST/CSIR National Centre for Nanostructured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein 2018, South Africa
Department of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape, Bellville 7530, South Africa
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(8), 1140;
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysis by Metal-Oxide Nanostructures)
PDF [6495 KB, uploaded 9 August 2019]


This study report on the synthesis of spinel CuFe2O4 nanostructures by surfactant-assisted method. The catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), laser Raman, transition electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), hydrogen temperature programmed reduction (H2-TPR), and Brunauer-Teller-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area techniques. CuFe2O4 was active for pinene oxidation using tertiary butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) to pinene oxide, verbenol, and verbenone aroma oxygenates. Under optimized reaction conditions, the spinel CuFe2O4 catalyst could afford 80% pinene conversion at a combined verbenol/verbenone selectivity of 76% within the reaction time of 20 h. The changes in catalyst synthesis solvent composition ratios induced significantly varying redox, phases, and textural structure features, which resulted in various catalytic enhancement effect. Characterization results showed the spinel CuFe2O4 catalyst possessing less than 5 wt% impurity phases, Cu(OH)2, and CuO to afford the best catalytic performance. The CuFe2O4 catalyst was recyclable to up to five reaction cycles without loss of its activity. The recyclability of the bimetal CuFe2O4 oxide catalyst was simply rendered by use of an external magnet to separate it from the liquid solution. View Full-Text
Keywords: selective oxidation; copper oxide; iron oxide; nanoparticles; biomass; pinene selective oxidation; copper oxide; iron oxide; nanoparticles; biomass; pinene

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mdletshe, L.S.; Makgwane, P.R.; Ray, S.S. Fabrication of Bimetal CuFe2O4 Oxide Redox-Active Nanocatalyst for Oxidation of Pinene to Renewable Aroma Oxygenates. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1140.

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