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Solvent-Free Oxidation of Primary Carbon-Hydrogen Bonds in Toluene Using Au-Pd Alloy Nanoparticles

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 195-199
DOI: 10.1126/science.1198458

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Abstract

Selective oxidation of primary carbon-hydrogen bonds with oxygen is of crucial importance for the sustainable exploitation of available feedstocks. To date, heterogeneous catalysts have either shown low activity and/or selectivity or have required activated oxygen donors. We report here that supported gold-palladium (Au-Pd) nanoparticles on carbon or TiO2 are active for the oxidation of the primary carbon-hydrogen bonds in toluene and related molecules, giving high selectivities to benzyl benzoate under mild solvent-free conditions. Differences between the catalytic activity of the Au-Pd nanoparticles on carbon and TiO2 supports are rationalized in terms of the particle/support wetting behavior and the availability of exposed corner/edge sites.

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