Reaction Steps in Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Oxidation of Toluene in Gas Phase—A Review

Yerzhigit Tulebekov, Zhandos Orazov, Bagdat Satybaldiyev, Daniel D. Snow, Raphaël Schneider, Bolat Uralbekov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A review of the current literature shows there is no clear consensus regarding the reaction mechanisms of air-borne aromatic compounds such as toluene by photocatalytic oxidation. Potential oxidation reactions over TiO2 or TiO2-based catalysts under ultraviolet and visible (UV/VIS) illumination are most commonly considered for removal of these pollutants. Along the pathways from a model pollutant, toluene, to final mineralization products (CO2 and H2O), the formation of several intermediates via specific reactions include parallel oxidation reactions and formation of less-reactive intermediates on the TiO2 surface. The latter may occupy active adsorption sites and causes drastic catalyst deactivation in some cases. Major hazardous gas-phase intermediates are benzene and formaldehyde, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as Group 1 carcinogenic compounds. Adsorbed intermediates leading to catalyst deactivation are benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, and cresols. The three most typical pathways of toluene photocatalytic oxidation are reviewed: methyl group oxidation, aromatic ring oxidation, and aromatic ring opening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6451
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • photocatalytic oxidation
  • reaction pathways
  • titanium dioxide
  • toluene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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