Oxidation of benzylic alcohols and lignin model compounds with layered double hydroxide catalysts

Justin K. Mobley, John A. Jennings, Tonya Morgan, Axel Kiefer, Mark Crocker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alcohol oxidation to carbonyl compounds is one of the most commonly used reactions in synthetic chemistry. Herein, we report the use of base metal layered double hydroxide (LDH) catalysts for the oxidation of benzylic alcohols in polar solvents. These catalysts are ideal reagents for alcohol oxidations due to their ease of synthesis, tunability, and ease of separation from the reaction medium. LDHs synthesized in this study were fully characterized by means of X-ray diffraction, NH3-temperature programmed desorption (TPD), pulsed CO2 chemisorption, N2 physisorption, electron microscopy, and elemental analysis. LDHs were found to effectively oxidize benzylic alcohols to their corresponding carbonyl compounds in diphenyl ether, using O2 as the terminal oxidant. LDH catalysts were also applied to the oxidation of lignin β-O-4 model compounds. Typically, for all catalysts, only trace amounts of the ketone formed from benzylic alcohol oxidation were observed, the main products comprising benzoic acids and phenols arising from β-aryl ether cleavage. This observation is consistent with the higher reactivity of the ketones, resulting from weakening of the Cβ-O4 bond that was shown to be aerobically cleaved at 180 μC in the absence of a catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Article number75
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Benzylic alcohol
  • Hydrotalcite
  • Layered double hydroxide
  • Lignin model compound
  • Nickel
  • Oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry


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