The selective oxidation of methane and propene over α-Bi2Mo3O12

Nel, Jacobus (2007-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Process Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The catalytic selective oxidation of hydrocarbon molecules is the process where a selectively oxidized intermediate molecule is formed instead of the thermodynamically favoured total oxidation products, in the presence of a suitable catalyst. Examples are the selective oxidation of methane to synthesis gas at moderate temperatures, for which a catalyst is still needed and the selective oxidation of propene to acrolein over α-Bi2Mo3O12. The selective oxidation of propene over α-Bi2Mo3O12 occurs via a Mars-van Krevelen mechanism where the bulk oxygen in the catalyst is inserted into the propene molecule and leaves as part of the product, while being replaced with gaseous oxygen. From an economic perspective there is a need to produce synthesis gas from methane at low temperatures. It was seen in the literature that α-Bi2Mo3O12 is a mixed metal oxide that might be capable of achieving this. The feasibility of the selective oxidation of methane to synthesis gas with α-Bi2Mo3O12 was therefore investigated. However, it was found that the selective oxidation of methane over α-Bi2Mo3O12 is not feasible at moderate temperatures. To circumvent the problem of producing synthesis gas at low temperatures a membrane reactor was suggested that might be able to produce synthesis gas at moderate temperatures with conventional selective methane oxidation catalysts that thermodynamically favours carbon dioxide formation at low temperatures. No time on-stream experiments had been done previously for the selective oxidation of ...

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