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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Jul 9;130(27):8748-53. doi: 10.1021/ja800959g.

Transforming nonselective into chemoselective metal catalysts for the hydrogenation of substituted nitroaromatics.

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  • 1Instituto de Tecnología Química (UPV-CSIC), Av. de los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.


It is generally accepted that good hydrogenation noble and nonnoble metal catalysts such as Pt, Ru, or Ni are not chemoselective for hydrogenation of nitro groups in substituted aromatic molecules. We have found that it is possible to transform nonchemoselective into highly chemoselective metal catalysts by controlling the coordination of metal surface atoms while introducing a cooperative effect between the metal and a properly selected support. Thus, highly chemoselective and general hydrogenation Pt, Ru, and Ni catalysts can be prepared by generating nanosized crystals of the metals on the surface of a TiO 2 support and decorating the exposed (111) and (100) crystal faces by means of a simple catalyst activation procedure. By doing this, it has been possible to change the relative rate for hydrogenating competitive groups present in the molecule by almost 2 orders of magnitude, increasing the chemoselectivity from less than 1% to more than 95%.

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