Solvent-free aerobic selective oxidation of hydrocarbons catalyzed by porous graphitic carbon encapsulated cobalt composites
The development of noble-metal-free heterogeneous catalysts that can catalyze the solvent-free oxidation of C–H bonds with molecular oxygen as an oxidant is a profound challenge. Herein we report a facile strategy for the synthesis of a porous graphitic carbon encapsulated cobalt composite (Co@C800) via the pyrolysis of a phenolic resin containing Co2+. Catalyst Co@C800 is highly active in the selective aerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons under mild and solvent-free conditions (120 °C, 0.8 MPa O2, 5 h), showing the best conversion of 60.7% with 95.7% selectivity, and can be stably reused at least 6 times. The full catalyst characterization and experimental tests demonstrate that the basic porous graphitic carbon and highly dispersed CoOx particles can be responsible for the good catalytic performance.