The selective aerobic oxidation of cinnamyl alcohol over Pt nanoparticles has been tuned via the use of mesoporous silica supports to control their dispersion and oxidation state. High area two-dimensional SBA-15, and three-dimensional, interconnected KIT-6 silica significantly enhance Pt dispersion, and thus surface PtO2 concentration, over that achievable via commercial low surface area silica. Selective oxidation activity scales with Pt dispersion in the order KIT-6 ≥ SBA-15 > SiO2, evidencing surface PtO2 as the active site for cinnamyl alcohol selox to cinnamaldehyde. Kinetic mapping has quantified key reaction pathways, and the importance of high O2 partial pressures for cinnamaldehyde production.
Bibliographical noteFunding: EPSRC (EP/E046754/2) and Leeds EPSRC
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research Equipment Facility
Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Full details of catalyst
synthesis, characterisation and testing. See DOI: 10.1039/c3nr00184a