DEVELOPING SELECTIVE OXIDATION CATALYSTS OF LIGHT ALKANES: FROM FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING TO RATIONAL DESIGN
Selective oxidation of light alkanes remains to be a great challenge for the wider use of alkanes as feedstocks. To achieve high activity and at the same time high selectivity, some key issues have to be addressed: (1) the stability of the desired products with respect to the reactants; (2) the roles of the active components in the catalysts, the structure and the functionality of the active centers; (3) the reducibility of the metal cations, the Lewis acid sites and their synergic effects with the basic sites of the lattice oxygen anions; (4) spatial isolation of the active centers; and (5) the mechanisms for the formation and transformation of the intermediates and their kinetic controls. In this contribution, we took selective oxidation of propane to acrolein as our target reaction, and reviewed mainly our own work, trying to provide some thinking and answers to these five questions.
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