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Efficient Room-Temperature Aqueous-Phase Hydrogenation of Phenol to Cyclohexanone Catalyzed by Pd Nanoparticles Supported on Mesoporous MMT‑1 Silica with Unevenly Distributed Functionalities

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2015, 00:00 by Chi-Jui Lin, Shao-Hsien Huang, Nien-Chu Lai, Chia-Min Yang
Efficient and selective aqueous-phase hydrogenation of phenol by a novel Pd catalyst supported on dually and selectively functionalized mesoporous MMT-1 silica nanoparticles has been developed. The catalyst features small (∼1.1 nm) Pd nanoparticles surrounded by unevenly distributed nitrogen- or heteroatom-free organic groups in the helical mesopores and the presence of non-hydrogen-bonded isolated silanol groups on the mesopore surface. The catalyst exhibited superior conversion of phenol and high selectivity of cyclohexanone at room temperature under atmospheric pressure of hydrogen and remained highly active after ten catalytic runs. The catalyst was active for the aqueous-phase hydrogenation of a variety of mono- and dihydroxylated aromatic compounds. The green protocol with the designed catalyst would be practical for the hydrogenation of phenol and other derivatives.