First achieving highly selective oxidation of aliphatic alcohols to aldehydes over photocatalysts

Feng Xie, Yin Zhang, Xiao He, Hongdong Li, Xueying Qiu, Wencai Zhou, Shutong Huo, Zhiyong Tang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Selective oxidation of alcohols plays a significant role in chemical synthesis and industrial production. Compared with aromatic alcohols, which are readily transformed into aldehydes, selective oxidation of aliphatic alcohols is more challenging due to its poor activity and low selectivity. Here, we report unprecedentedly selective oxidation of a number of aliphatic alcohols over bismuth oxyhalide photocatalysts, investigating the optical and electrochemical properties of bismuth oxyhalide and demonstrating the oxidation performance of three main aliphatic alcohols to the corresponding aldehydes. BiOCl showed excellent catalytic performance, with over 90% conversion and nearly 100% selectivity at room temperature using molecular oxygen. Meanwhile, proposed photocatalytic oxidation mechanism presented that molecular oxygen is not only activated to generate superoxide radicals, but also interact with substrate and catalysts. This work provides a new approach for selective oxidation of aliphatic alcohols and triggers more enthusiasm in contributing to the selective oxidation of aliphatic alcohols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13236-13243
Number of pages8
Issue number27
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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