Enhanced selective aerobic alcohol oxidation through nanoengineered catalyst supports

Christopher M. A. Parlett, Adam F. Lee, Karen Wilson, Duncan W. Bruce, Nicole S. Hondow, Mark A. Newton

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


    The selective conversion of alcohols to their carbonyl derivatives is a critical step towards a sustainable chemical industry. Heterogeneous Pd catalysts represent some of the most active systems known, even so further studies into the active species and role of support are required. Through controlling support mesostructure, using non-interconnected SBA-15 and interlinked SBA-16 and KIT-6, we have evaluated the role of pore architecture on supported Pd nanoparticles and their subsequent activity for liquid phase aerobic allylic alcohol selective oxidation.[1,2] These synthesised silica supports exhibit high surface areas (>800 m2g-1), and similar mesopore diameters (3.5 to 5 nm), but differ in their pore connectivity and arrangement; p6mm (SBA-15), I3mm (SBA-16) and I3ad (KIT-6). When evaluated alongside commercial non-mesoporous silica (200 m2 g-1) they promote enhanced Pd dispersion with interpenetrating assemblies providing further elevation. Macropore introduction into SBA-15, producing a hierarchical macro-mesoporous silica (MM-SBA-15), allows control over mesopore length and accessibility which escalates Pd distribution to levels akin to KIT-6 and SBA-16. Controlling dispersion, and likewise nanoparticle size, is thus facilitated through the choice of support and additionally Pd loading, with cluster sizes spanning 3.2 to 0.8 nm. X-ray spectroscopies indicate nanoparticles are PdO terminated with the oxide content a function of dispersion. Kinetic studies allude to surface PdO being the active site responsible, with a constant TOF observed, independent of loading and support. This confirms activity is governed by PdO density, whilst also overruling internal mass diffusion constraints. MM-SBA-15 facilitates superior activity and TOFs for long chain acyclic terpene alcohols due to reduced internal mass transport constraints.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2013


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