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Identification of molybdenum oxide nanostructures on zeolites for natural gas conversion

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Science  09 Apr 2015:
aaa7048
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa7048

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Abstract

Direct methane conversion into aromatic hydrocarbons over catalysts with Mo nanostructures supported on shape selective zeolites is a promising chemistry for natural gas liquefaction. We determined the identity and anchoring sites of the initial Mo structures in such catalysts as isolated oxide species with a single Mo atom on Al sites in the zeolite framework and on Si sites on the zeolite external surface. During the reaction, the initial isolated Mo oxide species agglomerate and convert into carbided Mo nanoparticles. This process is reversible, and the initial isolated Mo oxide species can be restored by a treatment with gas-phase oxygen. Furthermore, the distribution of the Mo nanostructures can be controlled and catalytic performance can be fully restored, and even enhanced, by adjusting the oxygen treatment.

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