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Keywords:

  • cyclization;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • ionic liquids;
  • nanoparticles;
  • rhodium
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Smells nice, too: The cyclodehydration of citral is achieved by using rhodium nanoparticles dispersed in an imidazolium-based ionic liquid. p-Cymene, p-α-dimethylstyrene, and limonene are obtained with selectivity greater than 75 %. The interaction between the imidazolium cations and the metal nanoparticles results in an acidic catalyst, which plays a similar function as a mineral acid but has a one order of magnitude higher activity.