Photocatalytic selective oxidation of 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol to aldehyde in aqueous suspension of home-prepared titanium dioxide catalyst
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The photocatalytic oxidation of 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol to p-anisaldehyde (PAA) was performed in water with organic-free suspensions of home-prepared and commercial titanium dioxide (TiO2) catalysts. The nanostructured TiO2 samples were synthesised by boiling aqueous solutions of titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) under mild conditions, for different times. The crystallinity increased with the boiling time. The 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol oxidation rate followed the same pattern but the highest yield (41.5% mol) to PAA was found for the least crystalline sample, that showed a quantum efficiency of 0.116%. A comparison with two commercial TiO2 samples showed that all the home-prepared catalysts exhibited a PAA yield higher than that of commercial ones. The only by-products present were traces of 4-methoxybenzoic acid and aliphatic products, carbon dioxide being the other main oxidation product.