Catalysis Letters

, Volume 106, Issue 3–4, pp 127–131 | Cite as

Oxidation of Butane to Maleic Anhydride using Vanadium Phosphate Catalysts: Comparison of Operation in Aerobic and Anaerobic Conditions using a Gas-gas Periodic Flow Reactor

  • Nianxue Song
  • Zhengqian Xuan
  • Jonathan K. Bartley
  • Stuart H. Taylor
  • David Chadwick
  • Graham J. HutchingsEmail author


The use of a periodic flow reactor is described for the oxidation of butane to maleic anhydride to compare the catalytic performance of vanadium phosphate catalysts operating under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. It is found that for the catalyst prepared via a standard VPO method, operation in the absence of oxygen leads to a very small enhancement in selectivity when butane concentrations in the range 0.9–2.9% are used. Operation in the absence of oxygen leads to very small differences in conversion such that the overall yield is enhanced and this effect is maximised for reactor feeds containing 1.5% butane. However, the enhancement is negligible when the catalyst is operated at high conversion required for commercial operation, indicating that reactors operating with continuous flow with aerobic conditions are preferred. Similar experiments are conducted for a catalyst prepared by the VPD method and, in contrast, this catalyst gives lower butane conversion and maleic anhydride selectivity when operated in the absence of oxygen.


vanadium phosphate butane oxidation maleic anhydride periodic flow 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nianxue Song
    • 1
  • Zhengqian Xuan
    • 1
  • Jonathan K. Bartley
    • 1
  • Stuart H. Taylor
    • 1
  • David Chadwick
    • 2
  • Graham J. Hutchings
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical TechnologyImperial CollegeLondonUK

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