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Direct photo-oxidation of benzene to phenol over Ti/Si binary oxide prepared by sol–gel method

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Titanium–silicon (Ti/Si) binary oxides having a varying Ti content were prepared using the sol–gel method and used as photocatalysts. The photo-oxidation of benzene to phenol was carried out using Ti/Si binary oxide catalysts in the presence of benzene, water and gaseous oxygen. The amounts of benzene used hardly affected the phenol yield. On the other hand, the addition of sulfuric acid into reaction solution led to the improvement of phenol formation. The H2O2 formation rate seemed to be related to the phenol yields. The photocatalytic reactivity of Ti/Si binary oxide having different TiO2 contents was investigated and it was found to be dramatically enhanced in the range of lower TiO2 contents. XANES, ESR and XRD spectroscopic investigations of these Ti/Si binary oxide catalysts indicated that Ti species were highly dispersed in SiO2 matrices and existed in a tetrahedral coordination. The photo-irradiation of catalysts having tetrahedral Ti species seemed to effectively lead to the formation of H2O2 as an intermediate.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kobe University, Nada, Kobe 657-8501, Japan; 2: Environment Management Center, Kobe University, Nada, Kobe 657-8501, Japan


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