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Efficient aerobic oxidation of alcohols to esters by acidified carbon nitride photocatalysts

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Savateev,  Aleksandr
Aleksandr Savateev, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Antonietti,  Markus
Markus Antonietti, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Wang, C., Wan, Q., Cheng, J., Lin, S., Savateev, A., Antonietti, M., et al. (2021). Efficient aerobic oxidation of alcohols to esters by acidified carbon nitride photocatalysts. Journal of Catalysis, 393, 116-125. doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2020.11.021.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-A06F-8
Abstract
Photocatalytic aerobic oxidation of alcohols for the direct synthesis of esters has received significant attention in recent years, but the relatively low efficiency and selectivity under visible light irradiation is the main challenge for their practical applications. Here, surface acidic sites were imparted onto metal-free heterogeneous photocatalysts by the protonation of carbon nitride (HMCN) to promote the activity for the esterification reaction through further adsorption and activation of the intermediate aldehyde. The activation of the substrate could be remarkably modulated through tuning the acidic sites on the surface of the photocatalyst, leading to a controllable reactivity of the catalytic reaction. The one-pot process for the direct aerobic oxidative esterification of alcohol exhibits high efficiency and selectivity under mild and additive-free conditions and the apparent quantum yield (AQY) of the photocatalytic esterification reaction is 0.41 at 420 nm. Moreover, a scalable photocatalytic process by the merging of a continuous flow system with the heterogeneous HMCN photocatalyst is demonstrated, combining high catalytic efficiency and stability at ambient temperatures and being promising for larger-scale applications.