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Development of a selective, solvent-free epoxidation of limonene using hydrogen peroxide and a tungsten-based catalyst

Lookup NU author(s): Abdul Rehman, Professor Adam Harvey



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018.

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© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry. The development of a limonene epoxidation process using environment-friendly H2O2, with high H2O2 conversion (∼95%) and selectivity to the epoxide (100%), is reported in this paper. Parametric studies of temperature, oxidant, solvent, acid concentration and sodium sulphate amounts were performed with the focus on establishing a rapid and highly selective process. Approximately 95% conversion of H2O2 at 100% selectivity to limonene-1,2-epoxide was achieved in 15 minutes with a single-step addition of oxidant. The operating conditions included a 323 K temperature in a solvent-free environment, with a limonene/H2O2/catalyst molar ratio of 4:1:0.005, using a tungsten-based polyoxometalates. To prevent the hydrolysis of the epoxide, the reaction mixture was saturated with sodium sulphate. An acid concentration of lower than 0.04 M was used and found to have significant effect on the selectivity. Kinetic studies were performed to allow modelling of the reaction scheme. The activation energy was determined to be ∼36 kJ mol-1.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Resul MFMG, Lopez Fernandez AM, Rehman A, Harvey AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Reaction Chemistry and Engineering

Year: 2018

Volume: 3

Issue: 5

Pages: 747-756

Online publication date: 08/08/2018

Acceptance date: 02/08/2018

Date deposited: 29/10/2018

ISSN (electronic): 2058-9883

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry


DOI: 10.1039/c8re00094h


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