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Pure Appl. Chem., 2001, Vol. 73, No. 2, pp. 311-314

Copper complexes for catalytic, aerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons

Shun-Ichi Murahashi*, Naruyoshi Komiya, Yukiko Hayashi and Tatsuyuki Kumano

Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, 1-3, Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan

Abstract: Catalytic oxidation of hydrocarbons can be performed efficiently upon treatment with tert-butylhydroperoxide or peracetic acid in the presence of a low-valent ruthenium catalyst. Furthermore, aerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons can be performed in the presence of acetaldehyde using ruthenium, iron, and copper catalysts. Copper derived from copper chloride/crown ether or copper chloride/crown ether/alkaline metal salts have proved to be efficient catalysts. Further study revealed that specific copper complexes formed from copper salts and acetonitrile are convenient and highly useful catalysts for the aerobic oxidation of unactivated hydrocarbons.