Catalysis Letters

, Volume 116, Issue 3–4, pp 116–121 | Cite as

Complete oxidation of short chain alkanes using a nanocrystalline cobalt oxide catalyst

  • Benjamin Solsona
  • Isabel Vázquez
  • Tomas Garcia
  • Thomas E. Davies
  • Stuart H. TaylorEmail author


Exceptionally high activity for the complete oxidation of propane is reported for the first time using a nanocrystalline cobalt oxide catalyst. The catalyst shows stable activity for prolonged time on stream and when the reaction temperature is cycled. Furthermore, the nanocrystalline catalyst demonstrates considerably higher activity than an alumina supported palladium catalyst, which is recognised as one of the most active reported. The high activity of the cobalt oxide catalyst is associated with the nanocrystalline nature of the material, which gives rise to new catalytically active surface sites. A broader comparison with other reported high activity catalysts emphasises the high efficacy of nanocrystalline cobalt oxide for total oxidation and demonstrates that it has significant potential for important applications, such as control of emissions from liquid petroleum gas powered vehicles and alkane volatile organic emissions from stationary sources.


alkanes catalysis cobalt oxide oxidation VOC 



The authors would like to thank Cardiff University for funding and the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science for the “Ramón y Cajal” Program (B. Solsona and T. García contracts).


  1. 1.
    Finlayson-Pitts B.J., Pitts J.N. (1997) Science 276:1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Molina M.J., Rowland F.S. (1974) Nature 249:810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rodhe H. (1990) Science 248:1217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Choudhary T.V., Banerjee S., Choudhary V.R. (2002) Appl. Catal. A: Gen. 234:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Choudhary V.R., Deshmukh G.M. (2005) Chem. Eng. Sci. 60:1575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Davies T., Garcia T., Solsona B., Taylor S.H. (2006) Chem. Commun., 32:3417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Haber J., Turvk W. (2000) J. Catal. 190:320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Yang H., Hu Y., Zhang X., Qiu G. (2004) Mater. Lett. 58:387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    L.F. Liotta, G. Di Carlo, G. Pantaleo, A.M. Venezia and G. Deganello, Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 66 (2006) 217; F.E. Trigueiro, C.M. Ferreira, J.-C. Volta, W.A. Gonzalez and P.G. Pries de Oliveria, Catal. Today 118 (2006) 425.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Busca G., Daturi M., Finocchio E., Lorenzelli V., Ramis G., Willey R.J. (1997) Catal. Today 33:239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    G.K. Boreskov, in Catal. Sci. Technol., Vol. 3, eds. J.R. Anderson and M. Boudart, (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1982), p. 39.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Finocchio E., Busca G., Lorenzelli V., Sanchez Escribano V. (1996) J. Chem. Faraday Trans. 92:1587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yuranov I., Dunand N., Kivi-Minsker L., Renken A. (2002) Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 36:183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Merino N.A., Barbero B.P., Grange P., Cadus L.E. (2005) J. Catal. 231:232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gluhoi A.C., Bogdanchikova N., Nieuwenhuys B.E. (2006) Catal. Today 113:178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yazawa Y., Yoshida H., Takagi S., Komai N., Satsuma A., Hattori T. (1999) J. Catal. 187:15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hubbard C.P., Otto K., Gandhi H.S., Ng K.Y.S. (1995) Catal. Lett. 30:41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Garetto T.F., Rincón E., Apesteguía C.R. (2004) Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 48:167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Alifanti M., Kirchnerova J., Delmon B., Klvana D. (2004) Appl. Catal. A: Gen. 262:167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lee A.F., Seabourne C.R., Wilson K. (2006) Catal. Commun. 7:566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Burch R., Halpin E., Hayes M., Ruth K., Sullivan J.A. (1998) Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 19:199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Corro G., Fierro J.L.G., Odilon V.C. (2003) Catal. Commun. 4:371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ruth K., Hayes M., Burch R., Tsubota S., Haruta M. (2000) Appl. Catal. B: Environ. 24:L133CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Solsona
    • 2
  • Isabel Vázquez
    • 2
  • Tomas Garcia
    • 3
  • Thomas E. Davies
    • 1
  • Stuart H. Taylor
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of ChemistryCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Departament d’Enginyeria QuímicaUniversitat de ValènciaBurjassot, ValenciaSpain
  3. 3.Instituto de Carboquímica (CSIC)ZaragozaSpain

Personalised recommendations