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Aerobic oxidation of ethylbenzene to acetophenone over mesoporous ceria–cobalt mixed oxide catalyst


Mesoporous ceria–cobalt (Ce0.9Co0.1O2, Ce0.8Co0.2O2, and Ce0.7Co0.3O2) mixed oxides, ceria (CeO2), and cobalt oxide (Co3O4) catalysts were prepared through modified template-assisted method and employed in oxidation of ethylbenzene with molecular oxygen (O2) without solvent and additives. Prepared catalysts were characterized by various physicochemical characterization techniques. The XRD results showed the formation of solid solutions in cobalt-doped ceria samples. The XPS results indicated the presence of more Ce3+ ions and surface adsorbed oxygen. H2-TPR profiles revealed a remarkable improvement in the redox behavior of ceria with the doping of cobalt into the ceria lattice. TEM and N2 adsorption studies showed mesoporous nature of materials. Among the prepared catalysts, Ce0.9Co0.1O2 showed far better activity for oxidation of ethylbenzene with 60% conversion and 87% selectivity toward acetophenone. This is attributed to facile redox behavior, more surface adsorbed oxygen species, and larger surface area of the catalyst and considered as crucial factors to improve the catalytic activity.

Graphical abstract

Mesoporous ceria–cobalt (Ce0.9Co0.1O2) mixed oxide efficiently catalyzed the aerobic oxidation of ethylbenzene to acetophenone without solvent with good conversion and selectivity.

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Authors P.S and S.N thank University Grant Commission (UGC), New Delhi and K.Y thank Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, for the research fellowships. Authors thank Director CSIR-IICT for permission to communicate this work (IICT/Pubs./2021/091), Dr N Lingaiah for TPR, and Dr K Manorama for XPS data.

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Correspondence to Venkateshwar Rao Tumula.

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Palli, S., Kamma, Y., Silligandla, N. et al. Aerobic oxidation of ethylbenzene to acetophenone over mesoporous ceria–cobalt mixed oxide catalyst. Res Chem Intermed (2021).

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  • Ethylbenzene
  • Aerobic oxidation
  • CeO2–Co3O4 mixed oxide catalysts
  • Cobalt-doped ceria
  • Ceria solid solutions
  • Acetophenone