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Title: Mechanistic Details and Reactivity Descriptors in Oxidation and Acid Catalysis of Methanol

Acid and redox reaction rates of CH₃OH-O₂ mixtures on polyoxometalate (POM) clusters, together with isotopic, spectroscopic, and theoretical assessments of catalyst properties and reaction pathways, were used to define rigorous descriptors of reactivity and to probe the compositional effects for oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) and dehydration reactions. ³¹P-MAS NMR, transmission electron microscopy and titrations of protons with di-tert-butylpyridine during catalysis showed that POM clusters retained their Keggin structure upon dispersion on SiO₂ and after use in CH₃OH reactions. The effects of CH₃OH and O₂ pressures and of D-substitution on ODH rates show that C-H activation in molecularly adsorbed CH₃OH is the sole kinetically relevant step and leads to reduced centers as intermediates present at low coverages; their concentrations, measured from UV-vis spectra obtained during catalysis, are consistent with the effects of CH₃OH/O₂ ratios predicted from the elementary steps proposed. First-order ODH rate constants depend strongly on the addenda atoms (Mo vs W) but weakly on the central atom (P vs Si) in POM clusters, because C-H activation steps inject electrons into the lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (LUMO) of the clusters, which are the d-orbitals at Mo⁶⁺ and W⁶⁺ centers. H-atom addition energies (HAE) at O-atoms in POM clusters represent the relevantmore » theoretical probe of the LUMO energies and of ODH reactivity. The calculated energies of ODH transition states at each O-atom depend linearly on their HAE values with slopes near unity, as predicted for late transition states in which electron transfer and C-H cleavage are essentially complete. HAE values averaged over all accessible O-atoms in POM clusters provide the appropriate reactivity descriptor for oxides whose known structures allow accurate HAE calculations. CH₃OH dehydration proceeds via parallel pathways mediated by late carbenium-ion transition states; effects of composition on dehydration reactivity reflect changes in charge reorganizations and electrostatic forces that stabilize protons at Brønsted acid sites.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: ACS Catalysis, 5(2):666-682
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory