Increasing the ketone selectivity of the cobalt-catalyzed radical chain oxidation of cyclohexane.

Research paper by Mathias M Nowotny, Lone N LN Pedersen, Ulf U Hanefeld, Thomas T Maschmeyer

Indexed on: 31 Aug '02Published on: 31 Aug '02Published in: Chemistry - A European Journal


A variety of heterogeneous catalysts for the radical chain oxidation of cyclohexane has been prepared by immobilization of the well-defined cobalt acetate oligomers [py(3)Co(3)(mu(3)-O)(OH)(O(2)CCH(3))(5)](PF(6)) (1) and [py(4)Co(2)(OH)(2)(O(2)CCH(3))(3)](PF(6)) (2) on carboxy-modified mesoporous silica supports A-D by carboxylate exchange. The catalytic oxidation of cyclohexane with tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) in the presence of these homogeneous and immobilized cobalt acetate complexes afforded the corresponding alcohol and ketone in high yield. The immobilization of 1 and 2 results in a significant increase of catalytic activity. TBHP acts as a radical initiator and as source of molecular oxygen, which is also involved in the overall oxidation process. The rate of cyclohexane conversion is limited by the diffusion of molecular oxygen, and steady-state concentrations of cyclohexanone (K, ketone) and cyclohexanol (A, alcohol) are established; these determine the maximum K:A ratio.