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Solvent‐Free Aerobic Oxidative Cleavage of Methyl Oleate to Biobased Aldehydes over Mechanochemically Synthesized Supported AgAu Nanoparticles

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A green solvent-free aerobic conversion of methyl oleate, represented by an oily droplet, to biobased aldehydes, represented by octanal and nonanal molecules by mechanochemically synthesized bimetallic nanoalloys of AgAu supported on silica.


The performance of mechanochemically synthesized supported bimetallic AgAu nanoalloy catalysts was evaluated in the oxidative cleavage of methyl oleate, a commonly available unsaturated bio-derived raw material. An extensive screening of supports (SiO2, C, ZrO2, Al2O3), metallic ratios (Ag : Au), reaction times, temperatures, and use of solvents was carried out. The performance was optimized towards productivity and selectivity for the primary cleavage products (aldehydes and oxoesters). The optimal conditions were achieved in the absence of solvent, using Ag8Au92/SiO2 as catalyst, at 80 °C, reaction time of 1 h, substrate to catalyst=555 and 10 bar of molecular oxygen. A strong support effect was observed: the selectivity to aldehydes was best with silica as support, and to esters was best using zirconia. This shows not only that mechanochemical preparation of bimetallic catalysts is a powerful tool to generate useful catalyst compositions, but also that a safe, green, solventless synthesis of bio-derived products can be achieved by aerobic oxidative cleavage.

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