Preparation of silver–tungsten nanostructure materials for selective oxidation of toluene to benzaldehyde with hydrogen peroxide†
We have developed a facile one-pot synthetic strategy to prepare Ag/WO3 nanostructure materials with different morphologies using a cationic surfactant, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. These materials were employed as catalysts in the direct synthesis of toluene to benzaldehyde using H2O2. The morphology of the Ag/WO3 materials can be varied by changing the synthesis parameters. The size and shape of the Ag/WO3 nanostructure catalyst has direct influence on the toluene conversion and benzaldehyde selectivity. The effect of different reaction parameters like reaction temperature, H2O2 to toluene molar ratio, reaction time, and so forth have been studied in detail. The Ag/WO3 catalyst with ∼7 nm silver nanoparticles on the WO3 nanorod with a diameter ∼60 nm showed the best catalytic activity of 42% toluene conversion with 93% benzaldehyde selectivity. The catalyst did not show any leaching up to four reuses, showing the true heterogeneity of the catalyst.