Last updateMon, 30 Oct 2023 8am

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Ecofriendly catalytic method to obtain aldehydes and ketones

The CSIC has developed a catalytic procedure which enables a highly selective oxidation of alcohols to aldehydes and ketones, using minimum amounts of Palladium catalysts. In contrast with the current methodologies, additives are not needed which means significant economic and environmental advantages. Industrial partners are sought.

This new technology is a catalytic oxidation method of alcohols which is specially focused on industrial applications in fine chemistry (i.e. pharma industry, perfumery, agrochemistry, etc.).

Among the oxidation methods of alcohols, the use of palladium catalysts has become very popular. However, currently all Palladium catalytic systems require the use of additives (catalyst stabilizers, bases, etc.) which can difficult the process and involve environmental or health risks.

This new technology enables a highly selective oxidation of a wide variety of alcohols to aldehydes and ketones, using a new family of homogeneous palladium catalysts and only oxygen or air as a reagent. The structure of these catalysts includes all elements that are required by the catalytic oxidation process, so, palladium catalysts which don’t need the addition of any other additive are presented for the first time.

Alcohols containing other functional groups in its structure can be oxidized. The reaction products, aldehydes and ketones, are obtained selectively (without overoxidation to carboxylic acids).  For instance, menthol is oxidized to ketone in quantitative yield (100%), without affecting the stereochemistry of the other chiral centers in molecule.

The methodology is an economical and environmentally friendly process that can use air as oxidant (even at atmospheric pressure) and water as solvent. As additives are not necessary, the wastes generated are significantly lower.


José Ramón Domínguez Solís This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Vicepresidencia Adjunta de
Transferencia de Conocimiento
Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Tel.: + 34 – 95 423 23 49