Biomimetic oxidation studies. 11. Alkane functionalization in aqueous solution utilizing in situ formed [Fe2O(ν1-H2O) (ν1-OAc)(TPA)2]3+, as an MMO model precatalyst, embedded in surface-derivatized silica and contained in micelles

Karine Neimann, Ronny Neumann, Alain Rabion, Robert M. Buchanan, Richard H. Fish

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The biomimetic, methane monooxygenase enzyme (MMO) precatalyst, [Fe 2O(ν1-H2O)(ν1-OAc)(TPA)2] 3+ (TPA) tris[(2-pyridyl)methyl]amine), 1, formed in situ at pH 4.2 from [Fe2O(μ-OAc)(TPA)2]3+, 2, was embedded in an amorphous silicate surface modified by a combination of hydrophilic poly(ethylene oxide) and hydrophobic poly(propylene oxide). The resulting catalytic assembly was found to be a biomimetic model for the MMO active site within a hydrophobic macroenvironment, allowing alkane functionalization with tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP)/O2 in an aqueous reaction medium (pH 4.2). For example, cyclohexane was oxidized to a mixture of cyclohexanone, cyclohexanol, and cyclohexyl-tert-butyl peroxide, in a ratio of ∼3:1:2. The balance between poly- (ethylene oxide) and poly(propylene oxide), tethered on the silica surface, was crucial for maximizing the catalytic activity. The silica-based catalytic assembly showed reactivity somewhat higher in comparison to an aqueous micelle system utilizing the surfactant, cetyltrimethylammonium hydrogen sulfate at its critical micelle concentration, in which functionalization of cyclohexane with TBHP/O2 in the presence of 1 was also studied at pH 4.2 and was found to provide similar products: cyclohexanol, cyclohexanone, and cyclohexyl-tert-butyl peroxide, in a ratio of ∼2:3:1. Moreover, the mechanism for both the silica-based catalytic assembly and the aqueous micelle system was found to occur via the Haber-Weiss process, in which redox chemistry between 1 and TBHP provides both the t-BuO• and t-BuOO• radicals. The t-BuO• radical initiates the C-H functionalization reaction to form the carbon radical, followed by O2 trapping, to provide cyclohexyl hydroperoxide, which produces the cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone in the presence of 1, whereas the coupling product emanates from t-BuOO• and cyclohexyl radicals. A discussion concerning both approaches for alkane functionalization in water will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3575-3580
Number of pages6
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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