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Hydrogenation of Substituted Nitroaromatics on Non-Noble Metal Catalysts: Mechanistic Insights to Improve Selectivity

Abstract

he mechanism of nitrobenzene hydrogenation on non-noble metals such as Ni is different from that previously reported on noble metals like Pt. The newly proposed pathway involves the initial dissociation of the two N-O bonds of nitrobenzene (Ph-NO2 → Ph-NO → Ph-N), leading to a partial oxidation of the catalyst surface, followed by two successive hydrogenation steps (Ph-N → Ph-NH → Ph-NH2) that finally produce the functionalized aniline. Due to the oxophylic nature of non-noble metals like Ni, Co or Cu, the hydrogenation of the Ph-N intermediate and the removal of O in the form of water become the most energy demanding steps of the process. The strength of the interaction of O, H and N with different metals, and the preferential mode of adsorption of nitroarenes on clean and partially oxidized systems obtained from DFT calculations, is used now to propose an efficient non-noble metal catalyst that optimizes activity and selectivity.

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Article information


Submitted
03 Dec 2019
Accepted
11 Dec 2019
First published
11 Dec 2019

Faraday Discuss., 2019, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Paper

Hydrogenation of Substituted Nitroaromatics on Non-Noble Metal Catalysts: Mechanistic Insights to Improve Selectivity

R. Millán and M. Boronat, Faraday Discuss., 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9FD00126C

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