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Bimetallic TiO2 Nanoparticles for Lignin-Based Model Compounds Valorization by Integrating an Optocatalytic Flow-Microreactor



The challenge of improving the activity of TiO2 by modifying it with metals and using it for targeted applications in microreactor environments is an active area of research. Recently, microreactors have emerged as successful candidates for many photocatalytic reactions, especially for the selective oxidation process. The current work introduces ultrasound-assisted catalyst deposition on the inner walls of a perfluoro-alkoxy alkane (PFA) microtube under mild conditions. We report Cu-Au/TiO2 and Fe-Au/TiO2 nanoparticles synthesized using the sol – gel method.

The obtained photocatalysts were thoroughly characterized by UV – Vis diffuse-reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and N2 physisorption. The photocatalytic activity under UV (375 nm) and visible light (515 nm) was estimated by the oxidation of lignin-based model aromatic alcohols in batch and fluoropolymer-based flow systems. The bimetallic catalyst exhibited improved photocatalytic selective oxidation.

Herein, four aromatic alcohols were individually investigated and compared. In our experiments, the alcohols containing hydroxy and methoxy groups (coniferyl and vanillin alcohol) showed high conversion (93% and 52%, respectively) with 8% and 17% selectivity towards their respective aldehydes, with the formation of other side products. The results offer an insight into ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT) complex formation, which was found to be the main reason for the activity of synthesized catalysts under visible light.

by Swaraj Rashmi Pradhan, Marta Paszkiewicz-Gawron, Dariusz Łomot, Dmytro Lisovytskiy, Juan Carlos Colmenares. Molecules2022, 27(24), 8731

DOI: 10.3390/molecules27248731
First published: 9 December 2022

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