Photocatalytic oxidation of trans-ferulic acid to vanillin on TiO2 and WO3-loaded TiO2 catalysts
•Various catalysts were tested for the photooxidation of trans-ferulic acid to vanillin.•WO3-loaded TiO2 catalysts were more efficient than bare TiO2.•Coating the TiO2 surface with inactive WO3 reduced the mineralization of vanillin.•The highest vanillin selectivity was obtained with the WO3(1%)/TiO2 sample.
The photocatalytic oxidation of trans-ferulic acid to vanillin in water has been studied by using various TiO2 and WO3-loaded TiO2 samples as catalysts. Different values of selectivity were obtained depending on the physico-chemical properties of the single samples and a vanillin selectivity of 10% was reached in the presence of the commercial TiO2 Merck. Higher selectivity values were obtained by impregnation of TiO2 with H2WO4 followed by calcination. The increased production of vanillin exhibited by the obtained WO3-loaded TiO2 powders was attributed to a reduced further oxidation of the aldehyde caused by the presence of the practically inactive tungsten trioxide hydrate on the TiO2 surface. The best result (ca. 25% of selectivity) was obtained with the WO3(1%)/TiO2 sample.
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Journal: Catalysis Today - Volume 252, 1 September 2015, Pages 195–200