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Mechanistic Insight into the Catalytic Oxidation of Cyclohexane over Carbon Nanotubes: Kinetic and In Situ Spectroscopic Evidence

Authors

  • Xixian Yang,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 20-87114916
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  • Dr. Hongjuan Wang,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 20-87114916
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  • Jing Li,

    1. Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642 (P.R. China)
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  • Dr. Wenxu Zheng,

    1. Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642 (P.R. China)
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  • Dr. Rong Xiang,

    1. School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275 (P.R. China)
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  • Prof. Zikang Tang,

    1. School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275 (P.R. China)
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  • Prof. Hao Yu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 20-87114916
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 20-87114916
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  • Prof. Feng Peng

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 20-87114916
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 20-87114916
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Abstract

As some of the most interesting metal-free catalysts, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and other carbon-based nanomaterials show great promise for some important chemical reactions, such as the selective oxidation of cyclohexane (C6H12). Due to the lack of fundamental understanding of carbon catalysis in liquid-phase reactions, we have sought to unravel the role of CNTs in the catalytic oxidation of C6H12 through a combination of kinetic analysis, in situ spectroscopy, and density functional theory. The catalytic effect of CNTs originates from a weak interaction between radicals and their graphene skeletons, which confines the radicals around their surfaces. This, in turn, enhances the electron-transfer catalysis of peroxides to yield the corresponding alcohol and ketone.

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