Transition metal oxides (MnO 2, Co 3O 4, and NiO) are catalytically active for the ammoxidation of alcohols to nitriles. In particular, MnO 2 exhibited remarkably high catalytic activity and selectivity for the ammoxidation of alcohols to produce nitriles. Benzyl alcohol could also be directly converted to benzonitrile by MnO 2 catalyst by the one-pot ammoxidation and the hydration with water which was formed by the first ammoxidation step. The deposition of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) onto MnO 2 did not enhance the ammoxidation of benzyl alcohol but promoted the hydration of benzonitrile to produce benzamide with high selectivity. In contrast, Au NPs supported on Al 2O 3, CuO, and CeO 2 catalyzed the ammoxidation of benzyl alcohol, whereas these metal oxides themselves were inactive for the ammoxidation or showed low catalytic activity. These results have demonstrated that gold is intrinsically active as a catalyst for the ammoxidation of alcohols.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Process Chemistry and Technology