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In a recent article in the RSC journal Chemical Communications, researchers of the Catalysis Engineering group led by associate professor Raveendran Shiju show how the surface crystalline phases of titania play a crucial role in the formation of peroxo species and in the selective epoxidation of different double bonds. They performed experimental and computational studies in cooperation with researchers at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea.
Schematic representation of the research
Image: HIMS / RSC

Titania or titanium dioxide is a transition metal oxide that has many applications. Its common appearance is that of a white powder, but it can also be blue or black, depending on its crystalline phase. In the research now published in Chemical Communications, it was investigated how the various different structural features of titania influence its reactivity in the industrially important conversion of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD).

DCPD is an interesting cyclic olefin compound because of its two different double bonds. It provides a versatile starting point for the synthesis of derivatives that can be found in the pharmaceutical, pesticide, and polymer industries. An important class are DCPD epoxides that find their use in particular in adhesives and insulation materials.  The control of selectivity leading to the desired product is important for many of these applications. The researchers studied the epoxidation of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) on a series of TiO2 catalysts using hydrogen peroxide as an oxidant. Using experimental and computational studies, they show that the surface crystalline phases of TiO2 play crucial roles not only in the formation of peroxo species but also in the selective epoxidation of two different CC double bonds in DCPD.

Paper details

Sang-Ho Chung, G. Hwan Park, Niels Schukkink, Hyoyoung Lee and N. Raveendran Shiju: Structure-sensitive epoxidation of dicyclopentadiene over TiO2 catalysts. Chem. Commun., 2023, Advance Article. DOI:  10.1039/D2CC05305E

See also

Research group Catalysis Engineering