Cobalt/N-Hydroxyphthalimide(NHPI)-Catalyzed Aerobic Oxidation of Hydrocarbons with Ionic Liquid Additive

Sajid Mahmood, Bao Hua Xu*, Tian Lu Ren, Zhi-Bo Zhang, Xiao-Min Liu, Suo-Jiang Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A highly efficient and solvent-free system of cobalt/NHPI-catalyzed aerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons was developed using imidazolium-based ionic liquid (IL) as an additive. These amphipathic ILs were found self-assemble at the interface between the organic hydrocarbons and the aqueous phase of catalyst combination (Co/NHPI), with forming a solution of reversed multilamellar vesicles for catalysis. The initial reaction rate was influenced by both the composition of microdomains and the structure of IL launched. Consequently, a proper water content (ΧH2O) of wet IL was requisite to reach the optimum reactivity. Besides, the interfacial boundary between aqueous and organic phase composed by C2-alkylated imidazolium ILs, such as [bdmim]SbF6 and [C12dmim]SbF6, not only has ternary aggregates (hydrocarbons/IL/H2O) of higher stability but renders O2 a faster diffusion rate and higher concentration, thereby offering a high reactivity of the protocol towards hydrocarbon oxidation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Molecular Catalysis
Pages (from-to)90-96
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Aerobic oxidation
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Ionic liquid
  • NHPI catalysis
  • Self-assemble

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