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Research Article

Direct synthesis of a disinfectant with fresh scent of green plants by semi-hydrogenation of alkynol on Pd single-atom catalysts

Yan Jiang1,§Xuetong Yu1,§Yuxia Ji1Xunzhu Jiang3Yalin Guo3Tianbo Li5Liang Gao1,2Rui Lang1,2,4( )Yanxiong Fang1,2,4Botao Qiao3( )Jinxiang Dong1( )
School of Chemical Engineering and Light Industry, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
Jieyang Branch of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Rongjiang Laboratory), Jieyang 515200, China
CAS Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Applied Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116024, China
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Biorefinery, Guangzhou 510006, China
School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China

§ Yan Jiang and Xuetong Yu contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract

Single-atom catalytic technique, for the first time, is applied to the household product manufacture, attributing to the superior selectivity and excellent stability of catalyst. After converting 3-hexyn-1-ol to 3-hexenol in 99% yield, Fe2O3 supported Pd single-atom catalyst is easily separated from reaction solution, thus an ethanol-based disinfectant is directly generated with comfortable, green-plant scent to make people healthier and happier.


Alcohol-based disinfectants have protected people in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but olfactory stimuli of ethanol may evoke unpleasant memories associated with stressful situations in the devastating infectious disease. The smell of ethanol in household cleaning and disinfectant products can be covered up by the fragrance additives, and 3-hexenol is especially appreciated for the characteristic, strong odor of green plants. Industrial production of 3-hexenol relies on the selective hydrogenation of 3-hexyn-1-ol, where Lindlar catalyst is normally used for the superior selectivity. Although achieving such catalytic transformation in ethanol solution seems as a direct way to produce a disinfectant with green aroma, a popular consumer product in the post-COVID era, severe leaching of toxic Pb hinders Lindlar catalyst as a promising candidate. We find that the Fe2O3 supported Pd single-atom catalyst is highly selective to fulfill semi-hydrogenation of 3-hexyn-1-ol in 75% ethanol, and the aforementioned household product is readily generated after filtrating the stable, solid catalyst out of reaction solution. Single-atom catalysts have been frequently utilized for fine-chemical synthesis, while in this work they make stunning debut in practical manufacture of daily used products.

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Nano Research
Pages 3872-3878
Cite this article:
Jiang Y, Yu X, Ji Y, et al. Direct synthesis of a disinfectant with fresh scent of green plants by semi-hydrogenation of alkynol on Pd single-atom catalysts. Nano Research, 2024, 17(5): 3872-3878.






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Received: 27 September 2023
Revised: 12 November 2023
Accepted: 27 November 2023
Published: 28 December 2023
© Tsinghua University Press 2023