Structure, activity and kinetics of supported molybdenum oxide and mixed molybdenum-vanadium oxide catalysts prepared by flame spray pyrolysis for propane OHD

Martin Høj, Thomas Kessler, Pablo Beato, Anker Degn Jensen, Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt

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A series of molybdenum oxide (2 to 15 wt% Mo) and mixed molybdenum-vanadium oxide (4 to 15 wt% Mo and 2 wt% V) on alumina catalysts have been synthesized by flame spray pyrolysis (FSP). The materials were structurally characterized by BET surface area, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman and diffuse reflectance UV-vis spectroscopy and evaluated as catalysts for the oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of propane. The results show that samples with high specific surface areas between 122 and 182 m2/g were obtained, resulting in apparent MoOx and VOx surface densities from 0.7 to 7.7 nm -2 and 1.5 to 1.9 nm-2, respectively. Raman spectroscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy and XRD confirmed the high dispersion of molybdenum and vanadia species on γ-Al2O3 as the main crystalline phase. Only at the highest loading of 15 wt% Mo, with theoretically more than monolayer coverage, some crystalline molybdenum oxide was observed. For the mixed molybdenum-vanadium oxide catalysts the surface species were separate molybdenum oxide and vanadium oxide monomers at low loadings of molybdenum, but with increasing molybdenum loading interactions between surface molybdenum and vanadium oxide species were observed with Raman spectroscopy. The catalytic experiments showed that the most selective molybdenum oxide catalysts for the ODH reaction were those with high Mo loadings of 7 to 15 wt% Mo, while the most selective mixed molybdenum-vanadium oxide catalyst were at 4 wt% Mo, where separate surface species of molybdenum and vanadium oxide were observed by Raman spectroscopy. A simple kinetic model based on the propane ODH reaction, parallel combustion of propane and sequential combustion of propene described the experimental results well and could be used to determine the optimal reaction conditions. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Pages (from-to)29-38
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Alumina
  • Catalyst activity
  • Combustion
  • Crystalline materials
  • Dehydrogenation
  • Flame spraying
  • Molybdenum
  • Molybdenum oxide
  • Propane
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Spray pyrolysis
  • Surfaces
  • Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy
  • X ray diffraction
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