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Title: Ionic and Covalent Stabilization of Intermediates and Transition States in Catalysis by Solid Acids

Reactivity descriptors describe catalyst properties that determine the stability of kinetically relevant transition states and adsorbed intermediates. Theoretical descriptors, such as deprotonation energies (DPE), rigorously account for Brønsted acid strength for catalytic solids with known structure. Here, mechanistic interpretations of methanol dehydration turnover rates are used to assess how charge reorganization (covalency) and electrostatic interactions determine DPE and how such interactions are recovered when intermediates and transition states interact with the conjugate anion in W and Mo polyoxometalate (POM) clusters and gaseous mineral acids. Turnover rates are lower and kinetically relevant species are less stable on Mo than W POM clusters with similar acid strength, and such species are more stable on mineral acids than that predicted from W-POM DPE–reactivity trends, indicating that DPE and acid strength are essential but incomplete reactivity descriptors. Born–Haber thermochemical cycles indicate that these differences reflect more effective charge reorganization upon deprotonation of Mo than W POM clusters and the much weaker reorganization in mineral acids. Such covalency is disrupted upon deprotonation but cannot be recovered fully upon formation of ion pairs at transition states. Predictive descriptors of reactivity for general classes of acids thus require separate assessments of the covalent and ionic DPE components.more » Here, we describe methods to estimate electrostatic interactions, which, taken together with energies derived from density functional theory, give the covalent and ionic energy components of protons, intermediates, and transition states. In doing so, we provide a framework to predict the reactive properties of protons for chemical reactions mediated by ion-pair transition states.« less
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Publication Date:
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(43):15229–15247
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory