Platinum-catalysed cinnamaldehyde hydrogenation in continuous flow†
Platinum is one of the most widely used hydrogenation catalysts. Here we describe the translation of batch reactions to continuous flow, affording tunable CO versus CC hydrogenation over a Pt/SiO2 catalyst, resulting in high steady state activity and single-pass yields in the selective hydrogenation of cinnamaldehyde to cinnamyl alcohol under mild conditions. Negligible catalyst deactivation occurs under extended flow operation due to removal of reactively-formed poisons from the reaction zone. Process intensification imparts a four-fold enhancement in cinnamyl alcohol productivity.