Soft synthesis and characterization of goethite-based nanocomposites as promising cyclooctene oxidation catalysts†
Goethite based nanocomposites with a different composition such as 6FeO(OH)·MnO(OH)·0.5H2O (Mn-composite), xFeO(OH)·M(OH)2·yH2O (Co-composite (M: Co, x = 12, y = 3), Ni-composite (M: Ni, x = 7, y = 2)) and xFeO(OH)·MO·yH2O (Cu-composite (M: Cu, x = 5.5, y = 3), Zn-composite (M: Zn, x = 6, y = 1.5)) have been prepared by a soft chemical synthesis consisting in acetate hydrolysis. The data provided by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-Vis-NIR), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and Mössbauer spectra account for a slight modification of all composites' physicochemical properties compared to the starting material. Powder X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations revealed the secondary phase nature and presence along with that of goethite. The TEM data are also consistent with a nano rod-like morphology with a 5–10 nm width and an average length of 40 nm. The catalytic oxidation of cyclooctene with O2 using isobutyraldehyde as reductant and acetonitrile as a solvent was performed in batch conditions for 5 h at room temperature. The selectivity for the epoxide was higher than 99% for all tested solids. The conversion of cyclooctene decreased from 55% to 4% following the same order of variance as the base/acid sites ratio: Mn-composite > Fe-composite > Co-composite > Ni-composite > Zn-composite > Cu-composite. The 6FeO(OH)·MnO(OH)·0.5H2O (Mn-composite) exhibited the most promising catalytic activity in cyclooctene oxidation, which can be correlated with the redox ability of Mn(III) combined with the increased base character of this solid. The catalytic activity of this sample decreases by 10% after several successive reaction cycles.