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Chemoselective catalytic hydrogenation of acrolein on Ag(111): effect of molecular orientation on reaction selectivity

Brandt, K., Chiu, M.E., Watson, D.J., Tikhov, M.S. and Lambert, R.M. (2009) Chemoselective catalytic hydrogenation of acrolein on Ag(111): effect of molecular orientation on reaction selectivity. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131 (47). pp. 17286-17290. ISSN 0002-7863

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/ja9063469


The adsorption and hydrogenation of acrolein on the Ag(111) surface has been investigated by high resolution synchrotron XPS, NEXAFS, and temperature programmed reaction. The molecule adsorbs intact at all coverages and its adsorption geometry is critically important in determining chemoselectivity toward the formation of allyl alcohol, the desired but thermodynamically disfavored product. In the absence of hydrogen adatoms (H(a)), acrolein lies almost parallel to the metal surface; high coverages force the C=C bond to tilt markedly, likely rendering it less vulnerable toward reaction with hydrogen adatoms. Reaction with coadsorbed H(a) yields allyl alcohol, propionaldehyde, and propanol, consistent with the behavior of practical dispersed Ag catalysts operated at atmospheric pressure: formation of all three hydrogenation products is surface reaction rate limited. Overall chemoselectivity is strongly influenced by secondary reactions of allyl alcohol. At low H(a) coverages, the C=C bond in the newly formed allyl alcohol molecule is strongly tilted with respect to the surface, rendering it immune to attack by H(a) and leading to desorption of the unsaturated alcohol. In contrast with this, at high H(a) coverages, the C=C bond in allyl alcohol lies almost parallel to the surface, undergoes hydrogenation by H(a), and the saturated alcohol (propanol) desorbs.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:11052
Publisher:American Chemical Society

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