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Elisabete Alegria, Speaker at Chemical Engineering Conferences
Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Portugal
Title : Nanocomposites based on Fe3O4 and BaTiO3 in oxidation of benzyl alcohol and 1-phenylethanol using different energy inputs


Green chemistry focuses on developing environmentally friendly processes that minimize waste and reduce the use of hazardous substances. [1] In this regard, this abstract explores the oxidation of alcohols, specifically benzyl alcohol and 1-phenylethanol, using unconventional methods such as microwave and ultrasound irradiation and nanocomposites based on Fe3O4 and BaTiO3 as heterogeneous catalysts. The oxidation of primary and secondary alcohols is a significant transformation in organic synthesis. Benzaldehyde and acetophenone products of the oxidation of benzyl alcohol and 1-phenylethanol, respectively are versatile compounds with wide industrial applications more concretely used in dyes, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. [2] Barium titanate (BaTiO3) and magnetite (Fe3O4) are promising materials to use on different energy inputs due to their properties, once the ceramic one (BaTiO3) presents ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and dielectric behaviours,[3] meanwhile the iron oxide exhibit ferromagnetism, meaning it becomes magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field and retains its magnetization when the field is removed.[4] Microwave irradiation provides rapid heating due to the interaction of electromagnetic waves with the reaction mixture, leading to accelerated reactions.[5] Ultrasound irradiation generates cavitation bubbles that enhance mass transfer and promote reaction kinetics.[6] Both methods offer efficient ways to carry out alcohol oxidations with improved selectivity and reduced energy consumption. 

Audience Takeaway Notes: 

  • Green chemistry emphasizes environmentally friendly processes that minimize waste and hazardous substances.
  • Utilizing unconventional methods like microwave and ultrasound irradiation, along with nanocomposites as catalysts, enhances the oxidation of alcohols such as benzyl alcohol and 1-phenylethanol.
  • The resulting products, benzaldehyde and acetophenone, are versatile compounds with wide industrial applications in dyes, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. 
  • Barium titanate (BaTiO3) and magnetite (Fe3O4) exhibit unique properties making them promising materials for various energy inputs, contributing to efficient and sustainable chemical processes.


Elisabete Alegria got her Ph.D degree (2006) from Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. She is Researcher (Core Member) at Centro de Química Estrutural (Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis Group) at Instituto Superior Técnico since 2009. She was appointed as Adjunct Professor (2007) at the Chemical Engineering Department of Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (ISEL) from Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon. E.C.B.A. Alegria authored over 80 scientific papers, 4 patents, 3 book chapters, and over 100 scientific communications. Main research interests: Sustainable homogeneous and supported catalysis for VOCs conversion and Biomass valorization, green synthesis of metallic nanoparticles, mechanochemistry (synthesis and catalysis), molecular electrochemistry.