Isolated boron in zeolite for oxidative dehydrogenation of propane

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 76-80
DOI: 10.1126/science.abe7935

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Isolating and stabilizing boron

Oxidative dehydrogenation of propane can produce propene from shale gas and help to replace petroleum as a propene feedstock. Boron-based catalysts can have high selectivity to propene, but the water by-product can deactivate the catalyst by hydrolyzing boron. Zhou et al. synthesized boron-doped silicate zeolites containing isolated boron sites that were stable against hydrolysis. The catalyst could achieve one-pass propane conversions up to ∼44% with selectivities for propene and >80% for ethene. They observed no deactivation after a 210-hour continuous test.

Science, this issue p. 76


Oxidative dehydrogenation of propane (ODHP) is a key technology for producing propene from shale gas, but conventional metal oxide catalysts are prone to overoxidation to form valueless COx. Boron-based catalysts were recently found to be selective for this reaction, and B–O–B oligomers are generally regarded as active centers. We show here that the isolated boron in a zeolite framework without such oligomers exhibits high activity and selectivity for ODHP, which also hinders full hydrolysis for boron leaching in a humid atmosphere because of the B–O–SiOx linkage, achieving superior durability in a long-period test. Furthermore, we demonstrate an isolated boron with a –B[OH…O(H)–Si]2 structure in borosilicate zeolite as the active center, which enables the activation of oxygen and a carbon–hydrogen bond to catalyze the ODHP.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science