Hydrodeoxygenation of sulfoxides to sulfides by a Pt and MoOx co-loaded TiO2 catalyst†
Supported metal nanoparticle catalysts were studied for the hydrodeoxygenation of sulfoxides to sulfides under solvent-free and mild conditions (50–155 °C, 1 or 7 atm H2). The catalytic activity for the model reaction of diphenyl sulfoxide depended on the type of metals, support materials and co-loaded oxides of transition metals (V, Nb, Mo, W, Re). Pt and MoOx co-loaded TiO2 (Pt–MoOx/TiO2) showed the highest activity. Pt–MoOx/TiO2 was reusable after the reaction and was effective for the reduction of various sulfoxides and showed a higher turnover number (TON) than previously reported catalysts. Using Pt–MoOx/TiO2, benzylphenylsulfone was reduced by H2 to give phenylbenzyl sulfide via benzylphenyl sulfoxides, which represented the first example of catalytic conversion of a sulfone to a sulfide by H2. Characterization studies of Pt–MoOx/TiO2 show that the surface of TiO2 is covered by small (or thin layer) Mo oxide species with exposed Mo cations as Lewis acid sites, and 4–5 nm sized Pt metal nanoparticles are supported on the Mo oxide-covered TiO2.