Oxidation Catalysis in Clean Technologies for Fine Chemicals

S. Albonetti, L. Dal Pozzo, F. Trifiro

Department of Industrial Chemistry and Materials, Viale Risorgimento 4, 40136 Bologna, Italy


The role of heterogeneous catalysis for the production of fine chemicals is reviewed with particular interest for the oxidation in a wide range of aspects of this kind of processes: reaction of oxygen insertion, oxidative dehydrogenation and nitrogen insertion (with ammonia and oxygen).

In this review are examined the main processes industrially applied and the best research perspectives in the field of heterogeneous oxidation catalysis for the synthesis of fine chemicals. It is an important point of view in relation with the typical parameters of this field of industrial chemistry and in relation with the driving force of environmental friendly technologies (the line guides of green chemistry) to substitute traditional processes. It is examined either the possibility of the use of gas phases, that is better on an economical and plant point of view, with molecular oxygen, nitrous oxide (it is a very specific oxidant, and it is active in mild conditions) and with the technique of short bed reactor to minimise the effects of the consecutive oxidation reaction particularly on aromatic side chains. Or the use of liquid phases, very useful to work in mild conditions with not stable reagents, with hydrogen peroxide and other alternative oxidants such as regenerable organic hydroperoxides. In the liquid phase reactions it is posed a particular interest in the oxidations carried out with the use of metal doped zeolites, with special attention to tiania-silica catalysts such as TS-1 with the new developments of hydrogen peroxide in situ generation; and heteropoly compounds.