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Journal of Photocatalysis


ISSN (Print): 2665-976X
ISSN (Online): 2665-9778

Research Article

Kinetic Analysis of Solvent Effect in the Photocatalytic, Aerobic Oxidation of Benzyl Alcohol over P25

Author(s): Nosaibeh Nosrati-Ghods, Nicholas Stuart Featherstone and Eric van Steen*

Volume 4, 2024

Published on: 12 January, 2024

Article ID: e120124225598 Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/012665976X272707231206063253

Price: $65


Background: Photocatalysis is of particular importance in the oxidation of alcohols to aldehydes to increase the conversion of benzyl alcohol oxidation to benzaldehyde at high selectivity, which could be useful for the pharmaceutical and perfumery industries.

Objective: The oxidation of benzyl alcohol over P25 was investigated in various solvents (water, benzotrifluoride, toluene and acetonitrile).

Methods: The reaction was performed in an isothermal slurry batch reactor in the presence and absence of UV-light. The products were analysed using GC-FID; the deposits formed on the catalyst was analysed using TGA and FTIR.

Results: In the presence of light, the reaction was very selective for the formation of benzaldehyde (e.g., 99% selectivity at 53% conversion using acetonitrile as a solvent), whereas, in the absence of light, the formation of higher molecular weight products was observed (e.g., 22% selectivity at 1.7% conversion using acetonitrile as a solvent). It was observed that the activity in the absence of oxygen was initially high, but it dropped rapidly from initially 0.4 to 0 mmol g-1 h-1 after 2-4 h (using acetonitrile as a solvent). This was attributed to the activity of the few oxidized sites present on P25.

Conclusion: Acetonitrile appears to be the most effective solvent, as it seems to interact least with the catalytically active sites. The photocatalytic oxidation of benzyl alcohol over P25 does not only yield products in the solution, but also deposits on the surface. The deposits can be removed in an oxidative environment or an inert environment.

Keywords: Photo-oxidation, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde, TiO2-P25, solvent effects, deposits.

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