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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 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
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number27
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-12-17
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge the financial support from the National Key Basic Research Program of China (2014CB931801 and 2016YFA0200700, Z. Y. T.), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21721002 and 21475029, Z. Y. T.), Frontier Science Key Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDJ-SSW-SLH038, Z. Y. T.), the “Strategic Priority Research Program” of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA09040100, Z. Y. T.), and the K. C. Wong Education Foundation (Z. Y. T.). Many thanks to Professor Yu Han for writing, advising and language polishing.


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