Commercial Gold Complexes Supported on Functionalised Carbon Materials as Efficient Catalysts for the Direct Oxidation of Ethane to Acetic Acid

Ana P. C. Ribeiro, Inês A. S. Matias, Sónia A. C. Carabineiro, Luísa M. D. R. S. Martins

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Abstract

The single-pot efficient oxidation of ethane to acetic acid catalysed by Au(I) or Au(III) compounds, chlorotriphenylphosphinegold(I) (1), chlorotrimethylphosphinegold(I) (2), 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidenegold(I) chloride (3), dichloro(2-pyridinecarboxylato)gold(III) (4), homogenous and supported on different carbon materials: activated carbon (AC), multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT) and carbon xerogel (CX), oxidised with nitric acid followed by treatment with NaOH (-ox-Na), is reported. The reactions were performed in water/acetonitrile. The materials were selective for the production of acetic acid, with no trace of by-products being detected. The best homogenous catalysts were complexes 2 and 3 which showed the highest ethane conversion and an acetic acid yield of ca. 21%, followed by 4 and 1. The heterogenised materials showed much better activity than the homogenous counterparts, with acetic acid yields up to 41.4% for 4@CNT-ox-Na, and remarkable selectivity (with acetic acid being the only product detected). The heterogenised catalysts with the best results were reused up to five cycles, with no significant loss of activity, and maintaining high selectivity for acetic acid. 4@CNT-ox-Na showed not only the best catalytic activity but also the best stability during the recycling runs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
JournalCatalysts
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Acetic acid
  • Carbon
  • Ethane oxidation
  • Gold
  • Heterogeneous catalysis

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