The selective liquid phase hydrogenation of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) to the corresponding 2,4-nitroarylhydroxylamines has been studied over supported Pd, Pt, and Ru catalysts. Pt and Pd samples were found more active and selective than Ru. On the palladium catalysts the influence of metal particle size, temperature and nature of the support on the catalytic activity and selectivity has been also investigated. Both specific activity and selectivity were found to be dependent on the palladium particle size. Larger Pd particles were found more active and selective towards the formation of the nitroarylhydroxylamines The results reported have been interpreted on the basis of a different geometry and strength of adsorption of the substrate on the active sites. The products distribution is influenced also by the acid-base properties of the support used.
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