Selective oxidation of styrenes under oxygen catalyzed by cobalt chloride

Yuan Hua Lin, Ian D. Williams, Pei Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The cobalt(II) chloride-catalyzed oxidative cleavage of α-methylstyrene with oxygen in t-BuOH gives acetophenone and formaldehyde in good yield. The competing reactions between C=C cleavage and formation of polymeric products are strongly affected by the solvent, cobalt catalyst and concentration used, as well as the reaction temperature. A free radical mechanism involving a cyclic peroxide intermediate is proposed to give the cleavage products. Oxidation of various alkenes using CoCl2/t-BuOH/O2system shows that only activated styrenes can be oxidized effectively. The reactivity of various styrenes and their selectivity towards giving cleavage products or polymers are strongly influenced by the electronic and steric properties of the substrate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 1997


  • Cobalt
  • Oxidative cleavage
  • Styrene
  • α-methylstyrene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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