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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 7, pp. 1273-1287

Oxidation reactions in the synthesis of fine and intermediate chemicals using environmentally benign oxidants and the right reactor system

Wolfgang F. Hoelderich and Felix Kollmer

Department of Chemical Technology and Heterogeneous Catalysis, University of Technology, RWTH Aachen, Worringerweg 1, 52074 Aachen, Germany

Abstract: This review outlines several approaches for designing new and environmentally friendly heterogeneously catalyzed oxidation processes for the synthesis of fine and intermediate chemicals. Environmentally benign oxidants such as molecular oxygen, hydrogen peroxide or nitrous oxide can be activated on suitable heterogeneous catalysts showing high activity and selectivity toward the desired oxygenated products. Several examples illustrate that features known from the synthesis of bulk chemicals can successfully be applied for manufacturing intermediate and specialty chemicals applying conventional industrial reactor systems. Direct oxidation of isoprenol, b-picoline, and benzene are chosen as examples for continuous gas-phase processes, oxidation of pinene and propylene as examples for semi-continuous or batchwise processes in the liquid phase.