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Heterogeneous liquid phase oxidation of ethylbenzene to acetophenone with graphene carbon-based catalyst

Qian Sun, Xueying Song, Li Gao, Wei Chen, Yamin Li, Liqun Mao, and Jing-He Yang

Henan University, Kaifeng, People’s Republic of China



Abstract: The series of graphene materials and N-doped graphene materials were successfully synthesized and improved by high-temperature treatment with trace iron oxide. XRD, Raman, FT-IR, TEM and XPS were employed for these catalysts. The catalytic performance of these catalysts was investigated in the selective oxidation of ethylbenzene with tert-butyl hydroperoxide as oxidant. The impacts of temperature, mass of catalysts, reaction time and oxidants on the selective oxidation of ethylbenzene were also investigated. The N-doped graphene materials exhibit greatly remarkable catalytic performance than others. The conversion of ethylbenzene is more than 90% and the selectivity of acetophenone is more than 95% at 353 K. Graphene can be used as catalyst owing to its unique structures and chemical properties. The characterization tests show that the doping of N atoms can create more defects and more active sites in the N-doped graphene materials which could greatly improve the catalytic performance. Furthermore, such cost-effective graphene-based catalysts possess good stability and could be reused at least five times without remarkable loss of the catalytic activity.

Keywords: Graphene ; N-doping ; Oxidation ; Ethylbenzene ; Acetophenone 

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-018-0432-8


Chemical Papers 72 (9) 2203–2214 (2018)

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