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Method for photocatalytic epoxidation of olefines

Advanced oxidation processesEpoxidationLimoneneOlefinsPhotocatalysis


Process to epoxidize olefines through advanced oxidation processes such as photocatalysis. The process was implemented using limonene as a model compound but more generally it can be applied to unsaturated compounds. The reaction is green, at room temperature and pressure, without using stoichiometric amounts of harmful peroxides and cooxidants.

Technical features

Reaction, currently carried out at lab scale, occurs in the presence of highly oxidizing species generated in situ through advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). Both double bonds of limonene coud be epoxidized with 100% selectivity. The method is applicable to other olefins. Notably, the epoxidation of the terminal bond is difficult to carry out at the present state of the art. For the first time a photocatalytic system enables efficient epoxidation of terminal double bonds. This method is advantageous with respect to the state of the art because it allows to perform efficiently epoxidation under green conditions, at room temperature and pressure, and.in the absence of peroxidic or co-oxidant compounds used in stoichiometric amounts.

Possible Applications

  • Polymers and composites;
  • Cosmetics;
  • Detergents and biomedicals;
  • Chemical synthesis etc.


  • The process is suitable to epoxidize demanding (e.g. terminal) olefines;
  • 100% selectivity;
  • No need of stoichiometric amounts of peroxides or co-oxidants;
  • Reaction is green, catalytic and takes place at room T and P;
  • Facile industrial scale-up; 6. Wide range of applications.