Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Volume 162, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Mechanistic insights into the partial oxidation of acetic acid by O2 at the dual perimeter sites of a Au/TiO2catalyst

Author affiliations


The unique interfacial sites of Au nanoparticles supported on TiO2 are known to catalyze the activation of oxygen and it's addition to small molecules including H2, CO, NO and propylene. Herein we extend these ideas and show that the unique Au–Ti dual perimeter sites that form at the Au/TiO2 interface can also catalyze more demanding C–H and C–O bond activation reactions involved in the deoxygenation organic acids such as acetic acid. We have shown previously that acetic acid can be partially oxidized on a Au/TiO2 catalyst to form a novel gold ketenylidene (Au2[double bond, length as m-dash]C[double bond, length as m-dash]C[double bond, length as m-dash]O) intermediate. In the present work we use in situ infrared spectroscopy and first-principle density functional theory (DFT) to examine the mechanism and the kinetics by which this reaction proceeds. The reaction was found to be localized at the dual perimeter sites of the Au/TiO2 catalyst, where O2 was activated. In contrast to Au/TiO2, no ketenylidene formation was observed on a similar Au/SiO2 catalyst or a TiO2 blank sample. The reaction involves the activation of multiple C–H bonds as well as the C–O bond in the adsorbed CH3COO species. C–O bond scission is postulated to occur at the TiO2 sites, while C–H bond scission occurs on Au sites, both near the active Au–Ti4+ dual perimeter sites. 18O2 isotopic labeling indicated that the O moiety of the ketenylidene species originates from the acetic acid during the oxidation process involving molecular O2. The rate-limiting step was found to be the C–O bond scission resulting in an apparent overall activation energy of 1.72 eV as determined from DFT calculations. This is in very good agreement with the experimentally measured apparent activation energy of 1.7 ± 0.2 eV. A deuterium kinetic isotope effect of ∼4 indicates that C–H bond activation is kinetically involved in the overall acetate oxidation reaction.

Back to tab navigation

Article information

02 Jan 2013
25 Jan 2013
First published
07 Mar 2013

Faraday Discuss., 2013,162, 247-265
Article type

Mechanistic insights into the partial oxidation of acetic acid by O2 at the dual perimeter sites of a Au/TiO2 catalyst

I. X. Green, W. Tang, M. Neurock and J. T. Yates, Faraday Discuss., 2013, 162, 247
DOI: 10.1039/C3FD00002H

Social activity

Search articles by author