Topics in Catalysis

, Volume 38, Issue 1–3, pp 7–16 | Cite as

Active centers, catalytic behavior, symbiosis and redox properties of MoV(Nb,Ta)TeO ammoxidation catalysts

  • Robert K. GrasselliEmail author
  • Douglas J. Buttrey
  • James D. Burrington
  • Arne Andersson
  • Johan Holmberg
  • Wataru Ueda
  • Jun Kubo
  • Claus G. Lugmair
  • Anthony F. VolpeJr

Selective as well as waste forming active centers were defined for MoVNbTeO and MoVTaTeO catalysts in the ammoxidation of propane to acrylonitrile and all catalytic functionalities were assigned to specific elements at the respective active centers. Symbiosis between M1 and M2 phases of these catalysts was observed, with phase cooperation being more extensive in the Nb than Ta containing compositions. The difference in catalytic effectiveness arises most likely because contact and surface area exposure of the two respective, cooperating phase pairs are not equal. The M1 phase of the catalysts is reducible by propane and ammonia in the absence of dioxygen and is regenerable to its original, fully oxidized state by dioxygen (air). No structural collapse is observed even after 120 C3H8 + NH3 reduction pulses. The so induced reduction of the catalyst extends up to 70 layers deep. The product distribution over the first few pulses is very similar to that under catalytic conditions, supporting the concept that lattice oxygen is involved in the catalytic ammoxidation process. Therefore, the ammoxidation of paraffins is a redox process, as is of course the well-known olefin ammoxidation process.


ammoxidation propane acrylonitrile symbiosis redox MoV(Nb,Ta)TeO (MoW)VTeO 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Grasselli
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Douglas J. Buttrey
    • 1
  • James D. Burrington
    • 3
  • Arne Andersson
    • 4
  • Johan Holmberg
    • 4
  • Wataru Ueda
    • 5
  • Jun Kubo
    • 5
  • Claus G. Lugmair
    • 6
  • Anthony F. VolpeJr
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for Catalytic Science and TechnologyUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Physical ChemistryUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.The Lubrizol CorporationWickliffeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Chemical EngineeringLund UniversityLundSweden
  5. 5.Catalysis Research CenterHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  6. 6.Symyx Technologies IncSanta ClaraUSA

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