Direct Selective Hydrogenation of Phenol and Derivatives over Polyaniline-Functionalized Carbon-Nanotube-Supported Palladium
Invited for this month′s cover are the groups of Prof. Jinzhu Chen and Prof. Longlong Ma from the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The image shows a bifunctional stabilizing mechanism of the composite support PANI/CNT on palladium nanoparticles in the catalyst Pd–PANI/CNT, and how the PANI/CNT can play a role in controlling the conversion and selectivity in the direct hydrogenation of phenol to cyclohexanone.
What prompted you to investigate this topic?
Cyclohexanone is an industrially important intermediate in the synthesis of nylon and polyamides, but direct selective hydrogenation of phenol to cyclohexanone is challenge owing to the over-reduction of cyclohexanone to cyclohexanol. It is an interesting and challenging job to achieve direct selective hydrogenation of phenol to cyclohexanone under green and mild conditions.
What is the most significant result of this study?
The phenol conversion is related presumably to the conductive property of the composite support PANI/CNT, whereas the cyclohexanone selectivity is attributed to the nitrogen-containing nature of PANI/CNT.
What aspects of this project do you find most exciting?
Aqueous-phase heterogeneous hydrogenation under atmospheric pressure avoids the hazards and toxicity associated with the use of organic solvents, reduces energy and waste costs, and simplifies separation procedures at the end of the reaction. For these reasons, this novel process of direct selective hydrogenation of phenols should give an economically viable and environmentally attractive route to several cycloketones.
What other topics are you working on at the moment?
Biomass conversion. Read the full text of the article at
This study was financially supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2012CB215304).