Sonochemical oxidation of vanillyl alcohol to vanillin in the presence of a cobalt oxide catalyst under mild conditions
Ronan Behling, Gregory Chatel,* and Sabine Valange*
The heterogeneous selective oxidation of vanillyl alcohol into vanillin was investigated on new grounds under eco-friendly conditions in the presence of hydrogen peroxide as an oxidant and water as solvent, coupled with low frequency ultrasonic irradiation. The sono-Fenton-like-assisted vanillyl alcohol oxidation was performed with a high-surface area nanostructured spinel cobalt oxide catalyst exhibiting small crystallites size. The catalytic reaction was also carried out under conventional heating conditions for comparison purposes. The influence of the reaction parameters, namely catalyst loading and hydrogen peroxide concentration was studied with the aim of determining the optimum yield and selectivity to the desired vanillin product. The chemical effects of ultrasound (ability to generate hydroxyl radicals) along with increased mass transfer appeared to be key prerequisites for enhancing the efficiency of the process, while decreasing the overall energy consumption.
Congrats to Ronan for his work (Brazil CAPES funding).