Sales, R.N.; Callear, S.K.; Vaz, P.D.; Nunes, C.D. Substrate–Solvent Crosstalk—Effects on Reaction Kinetics and Product Selectivity in Olefin Oxidation Catalysis. Chemistry2021, 3, 753-764.
Sales, R.N.; Callear, S.K.; Vaz, P.D.; Nunes, C.D. Substrate–Solvent Crosstalk—Effects on Reaction Kinetics and Product Selectivity in Olefin Oxidation Catalysis. Chemistry 2021, 3, 753-764.
In this work we explored how solvents can affect olefin oxidation reactions catalyzed by MCM-bpy-Mo catalysts and whether their control can be made with those players. The results of this study evidenced that polar and apolar aprotic solvents modulated the reactions in different ways. Experimental data showed that acetonitrile (aprotic polar) could hinder largely the reaction rate whereas toluene (aprotic apolar) did not. In both cases product selectivity at isoconversion was not affected. Further insights were obtained by means of neutron diffraction experiments, which confirmed the kinetic data allowing to propose a model based on substrate-solvent crosstalk by means of hydrogen bonding. In addition, the model was also validated in the ring-opening reaction (overoxidation) of styrene oxide towards benzaldehyde, which progressed when toluene was the solvent (reaching 31% styrene oxide conversion) but was strongly hindered when acetonitrile was used instead (reaching only 7% conversion), due to the establishment of H-bonds in the latter. Although this model was confirmed and validated for olefin oxidation reactions, it can be envisaged that it may also be applied to other catalytic reaction systems where reaction control is critical, while widening its use.
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