The structural characteristics and the performance of vanadia catalysts (0.7-8 wt.% V) supported on mesoporous (MCM-41, HMS, MCF, SBA-15), microporous (silicalite) and non-porous (SiO2) silicas in oxidative dehydrogenation of propane were investigated. The structure of vanadia species, the redox and the acidic properties of the catalysts were studied using in situ Raman spectroscopy, TPD- NH3 and H2-TPR. The only vanadia species detected on the surface of HMS and MCM-41 for V loadings up to 8 wt.% were isolated monovanadates indicating high vanadia dispersion. Additional bands ascribed to V2O5 nanoparticles were evidenced in the case of SBA-15 and MCF supported catalysts while these bands were the only ones identified on the surface of the catalysts supported on silicalite and non-porous silica. The catalysts supported on mesoporous HMS and MCM-41 materials showed the best performance achieving high propane conversions (35-40%) with relatively high propene selectivities (35-47%). Lower activity due to the lower degree of vanadia dispersion, caused by the partial destruction of the pore structure was observed for the SBA-15 and MCF supported catalysts. The degree of dispersion of the V species on the catalyst surface and not the pore size and structure of the mesoporous support or the acidity/reducibility characteristics mainly determine the catalytic activity towards propene production. In addition, it was shown that the pore structure and size of the mesoporous supports did not have any significant effect in the turnover rates (TOF values) of propane conversion (and propene formation at low propane conversion, below ca. 10%). However, the highest propene yield (up to 19%) and stable catalytic behavior was attained for catalysts supported on HMS mesoporous silica, and especially for those combining framework mesoporosity and textural porosity (voids between primary nanoparticles).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mesoporous silicas
- Oxidative dehydrogenation