We used density functional theory quantum mechanics with periodic boundary conditions to determine the atomistic mechanism underlying catalytic activation of propane by the M1 phase of Mo-V-Nb-Te-O mixed metal oxides. We find that propane is activated by Te=O through our recently established reduction-coupled oxo activation mechanism. More importantly, we find that the C-H activation activity of Te=O is controlled by the distribution of nearby V atoms, leading to a range of activation barriers from 34 to 23 kcal/mol. On the basis of the new insight into this mechanism, we propose a synthesis strategy that we expect to form a much more selective single-phase Mo-V-Nb-Te-O catalyst.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry