In recent years, aromatic substances have become the focus of environmental pollution-related concern due to their high stability and mutagenicity. In this regard, researchers have focused their attention on the development of photocatalytic processes to convert nitroaromatic compounds into aniline. In this work, the photocatalytic conversion of nitrobenzene (NB) to aniline (AN) was studied. The photocatalytic reaction was performed using commercial TiO2 (P25) and a photocatalytic aerogel, based on P25 embedded in syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) aerogel (sPS/P25 aerogel) as photocatalysts. Different alcohols were used as hydrogen sources during the photocatalytic experiments. At the optimized operating conditions (photocatalysts dosage: 0.5 mg/L and 50% (v/v) EtOH%), an AN yield of over 99% was achieved. According to the results, this work could open avenues toward effective production of AN from NB using mild reaction conditions with sPS/P25 aerogel-in view of a possible scale-up of the photocatalytic process.
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