The article; "Chemoselective reduction of α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds with UiO-66 materials", published by recently graduated Dr. Eva Plessers, has been selected as one of the featured articles of the Journal of Catalysis August 2016 issue by the Editor-in-Chief. The manuscript will be freely available for 3 months following its publication.
Allylic alcohols, important intermediates in fine chemical industry, are typically obtained through chemoselective hydrogenation of α,β-unsaturated aldehydes. Here we show that UiO-66, a zirconium-based metal–organic framework can be used in the chemoselective hydrogenation of cinnamaldehyde, both under high hydrogen pressure as silver nanoparticle support, and as transfer hydrogenation catalyst in the Meerwein–Ponndorf–Verley (MPV) reduction. A recyclable 10 wt% Ag/UiO-66 catalyst reached complete conversion after 6 h and 50 bar of H2 with 66% selectivity for cinnamyl alcohol in the inert solvent N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA). Pure UiO-66 as MPV catalyst with isopropanol reached complete conversion with >90% selectivity after 24 h at 120 °C. The substrate scope was extended to citral and carvone, two α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds that are harder to reduce selectively. Introduction of a NO2-functional group into the UiO-66 linker to increase the Lewis acidity was clearly beneficial for the conversion of carvone.
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