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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 367261, 8 pages
Research Article

Identification of Active Phase for Selective Oxidation of Benzyl Alcohol with Molecular Oxygen Catalyzed by Copper-Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles

Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Received 14 May 2012; Accepted 28 June 2012

Academic Editor: Stojan Stavber

Copyright © 2013 Roushown Ali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Catalytic activity of copper-manganese mixed oxide nanoparticles (Cu/Mn = 1 : 2) prepared by coprecipitation method has been studied for selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol using molecular oxygen as an oxidizing agent. The copper-manganese (CuMn2) oxide catalyst exhibited high specific activity of 15.04 mmolg−1 h−1 in oxidation of benzyl alcohol in toluene as solvent. A 100% conversion of the benzyl alcohol was achieved with >99% selectivity to benzaldehyde within a short reaction period at 102°C. It was found that the catalytic performance is dependent on calcination temperature, and best activity was obtained for the catalyst calcined at 300°C. The high catalytic performance of the catalyst can be attributed to the formation of active MnO2 phase or absence of less active Mn2O3 phase in the mixed CuMn2 oxide. The catalyst has been characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Brunauer Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area measurement, and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopies.