Selective Aerobic Oxidation of Benzyl Alcohols with Palladium(0) Nanoparticles Suspension in Water


This study concerns one of the rare applications of a suspension of palladium nanoparticles in water for oxidation reactions. The aqueous suspension containing well dispersed nanoparticles of 3.85 nm was obtained following a straightforward procedure involving the reduction of Na2PdCl4 with NaBH4 in the presence of PVP as stabilizing agent. In the way of oxidative catalytic valorisation of lignin, the aqueous suspension was directly applied as catalytic medium for the selective oxidation of vanillic alcohol into vanillin (80 °C, O2, 1 h) with more than 90% yield. Reusability of the catalytic medium has been demonstrated, acting as “quasi-homogeneous catalyst”. More sophisticated lignin-derived substrates like veratryl alcohol and hydrobenzoin gave yields of 50–80% to the respective aldehyde and ketone. In parallel, this as-synthesized suspension was directly used to prepare a Pd/TiO2 catalyst, the latter showing less efficiency for the catalytic transformations.

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The authors thank the French National Research Agency for funding through NANOTRAP Project (ANR-17-CE07-0027). The authors thanks L. Burel (IRCELYON) for precious discussion concerning TEM analysis.

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Correspondence to Franck Rataboul.

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Bourbiaux, D., Mangematin, S., Djakovitch, L. et al. Selective Aerobic Oxidation of Benzyl Alcohols with Palladium(0) Nanoparticles Suspension in Water. Catal Lett (2021).

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  • Metallic nanoparticles
  • Catalysis
  • Alcohols oxidation
  • Aqueous suspension