Gold nanoparticles deposited on inorganic supports are efficient catalysts for the oxidation of various substituted phenols (2,6-di-tert-butyl phenol and 2,3,6-trimethyl phenol) with aqueous hydrogen peroxide. By contrast to more conventional catalysts such as Ti-containing mesoporous silicas, which convert phenols to the corresponding benzoquinones, gold nanoparticles are very selective to biaryl compounds (3,3′,5,5′-tetra-tert-butyl diphenoquinone and 2,2′,3,3′,5,5′-hexamethyl-4,4′- biphenol, respectively). Products yields and selectivities depend on the solvent used, the best results being obtained in methanol with yields >98%. Au offers the possibility to completely change the selectivity in the oxidation of substituted phenols and opens interesting perspectives in the clean synthesis of biaryl compounds for pharmaceutical applications. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Process Chemistry and Technology