An efficient epoxidation of terminal aliphatic alkenes over heterogeneous catalysts: when solvent matters†
The epoxidation of unfunctionalized terminal aliphatic alkenes over heterogeneous catalysts is still a challenging task. Due to the tuning of a peculiar catalyst/oxidant/solvent combination, it was possible to attain good alkene conversions (73%) and excellent selectivity values (>98%) in the desired terminal 1,2-epoxide. Over the titanium–silica catalyst and in the presence of tert-butylhydroperoxide, the use of α,α,α-trifluorotoluene as an uncommon non-toxic solvent was the key factor for a marked enhancement of selectivity. The titanium–silica catalyst was efficiently recycled and reused after a gentle rinsing with fresh solvent.