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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Sep 1;126(34):10542-3.

Biomimetic catalytic system driven by electron transfer for selective oxygenation of hydrocarbon.

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  • 1Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian, 116023, P. R. China.


Hydrocarbon oxyfunctionalization is a crucial industrial process. Most metallic catalysts require higher temperatures and often show lower selectivities. One of the intellectual approaches is the mimicry for bio-oxidation. We have established a biomimetic system with a nonmetallic redox center, composed of anthraquinones, N-hydroxyphthalimide, and zeolite HY, for selective hydrocarbon oxygenation by molecular oxygen. Selectivity of 95.8% for acetophenone and 66.2% conversion were accomplished for oxygenation of ethylbenzene at temperatures as low as 80 degrees C. The redox cycle, driven by one-electron transfer and product orientation by Zeolite HY, opens up the possibility of mimicking bio-oxidation under mild conditions.

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