Catalytic Aerobic Oxidations
CHAPTER 8: Aerobic Oxidation Reactions in the Fine Chemicals and Pharmaceutical Industries
Published:14 Jul 2020
Oxidative transformations are essential in the chemical industry, as most of the feedstocks used are reduced to its maximum extent. Common stoichiometric oxidants produce co-equimolar amounts of waste and, thus, are pollutant. Consequently, the interest in environmentally friendly oxidants (H2O2, N2O, O2) has increased lately. Cheap and abundant molecular oxygen has been considered as the ideal terminal oxidant. To produce commodities, aerobic oxidation is a well-established process, but that is not the case for the fine chemicals and pharmaceutical industries. The low solubility of O2 in most solvents, flammability of certain oxygen–organic vapor mixtures, activity–selectivity balance in the reactions, scalability, costs and safety have hampered its use. In this chapter, commercial aerobic oxidation processes, as well as scalable examples with potential to produce specialty chemicals, are discussed, within the fields of homo- and heterogeneous catalysis, flow chemistry, bio-, photo- and electrocatalysis.