Mild, solvent-free oxidation of toluene and substituted toluenes to their benzoic acids using carboxylic acid-promoted heterogeneous catalysis

T W Bastock, J H Clark, K Martin, B W Trenbirth

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The commercial production of aromatic acids, in particular benzoic acid, is still performed using homogeneous cobalt acetate in acetic acid at high temperatures and pressures. Operating under these reaction conditions consumes large amounts of energy and produces large volumes of acidic toxic waste. Envirocat EPAC is a heterogeneous catalyst that can achieve the same transformation at atmospheric pressure, in the liquid phase, in the presence of a catalytic amount of carboxylic acid promoter, in the absence of a solvent. This process has eliminated the production of large amounts of toxic, acidic waste and significantly reduced the energy required to run the process as the oxidation is performed in the liquid phase at atmospheric pressure and lower temperatures, thus making the oxidation of aromatic methyls a considerably greener process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-617
Number of pages3
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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