Soluble asphaltene oxide: a homogeneous carbocatalyst that promotes synthetic transformations
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- Soluble asphaltene oxide: a homogeneous carbocatalyst that promotes synthetic transformations
- Jung, Hyosic; Bielawski, Christopher W.
- Issue Date
- ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
- RSC ADVANCES, v.10, no.26, pp.15598 - 15603
- Carbocatalysts, materials which are predominantly composed of carbon and catalyze the synthesis of organic or inorganic compounds, are promising alternatives to metal-based analogues. Even though current carbocatalysts have been successfully employed in a broad range of synthetic transformations, they suffer from a number of drawbacks in part due to their heterogeneous nature. For example, the insolubility of prototypical carbocatalysts, such as graphene oxide (GO), may restrict access to catalytically-active sites in a manner that limits performance and/or challenges optimization. Herein we describe the preparation and utilization of soluble asphaltene oxide (sAO), which is a novel material that is composed of oxidized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and is soluble in a wide range of organic solvents as well as in aqueous media. sAO promotes an array of synthetically useful transformations, including esterifications, cyclizations, multicomponent reactions, and cationic polymerizations. In many cases, sAO was found to exhibit higher catalytic activities than its heterogeneous analogues and was repeatedly and conveniently recycled, features that were attributed to its ability to form homogeneous phases.
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