Photocatalytic Hydroxylation of Phenol with Fe-Al-silicate Photocatalyst: a clean and highly selective synthesis of Dihydroxybenzenes

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Courtesy of Hiden Analytical

TiO2 photocatalytic reactions for organic synthesis have recently been the subject of many reports. The choice and reaction conditions of catalysts are very important in the phenol hydroxylation using H2O2 as oxidant. In this study, a new type of photocatalyst based on silicate (Fe-Al-silicate) was prepared and characterized with a goal to effective utilizing in photocatalytic organic synthesis of dihydroxybenzenes from phenol. Fe-Al-silicate, which was readily obtained by ions adsorption process, can catalyze the phenol to catechol and hydroquinone in the presence of H2O2 with the assistance of UV irradiation at the wavelength 365nm. From the FT-IR spectra (Fig.1), we preliminary infer that the metal elements are incorporated into the silicate.

This oxidation relies on the generation of the powerful oxidant OH radicals as H2O2 reacts with a conduction band electron and the redox process in presence of iron ions, then phenol can be directly converted into catechol and hydroquinone by reacting with OH.

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