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01.07.2011 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 10-12/2011 Open Access

Topics in Catalysis 10-12/2011

Active Sites for Propane Oxidation: Some Generic Considerations

Topics in Catalysis > Ausgabe 10-12/2011
Robert Schlögl
Wichtige Hinweise
This paper is dedicated to Bob Grasselli on the occasion of his 80th birthday. With his imaginative work on selective oxidation he paved the way not only towards substantial economic developments but also to fruitful conceptual insights into one of the more enigmatic areas of heterogeneous catalysis. The community will have to work for quite some time to bring the physical chemistry of selective oxidation to the level of insight provided by the “pillars of selective oxidation” erected by the laureate.


Based on experimental observations about structure and dynamics of the reactive surface of the M1 phase some considerations are made about the nature and size of active sites. In analyzing the stoichiometry of the reactions following activation of propane it occurs that for dehydrogenation small sites are desirable being just sufficient to re-activate oxygen without kinetic hindrance. For deeper oxidation to acrylic acid (AA) the sites should be larger to accommodate all redox equivalents and oxygen species required for one transformation. A qualitative model for size and composition of the active site is made. It is likely that the active site consists on a VxOy species of strictly 2-D nature. This follows the structural suggestion for the active site on the a–b-plane of the M1 structure. The role of Te in moderating the active site is discussed. The suggestions are discussed in comparing requirements for oxidative dehydrogenation of propane (ODP) with those for AA synthesis.

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