Metal organic frameworks (MOFs), with their crystalline, porous structures, can be synthesized to incorporate a wide range of catalytically active metals in tailored surroundings. These materials have potential as catalysts for conversion of light alkanes, feedstocks available in large quantities from shale gas that are changing the economics of manufacturing commodity chemicals. Mononuclear high-spin (S = 2) Fe(II) sites situated in the nodes of the MOF MIL-100(Fe) convert propane via dehydrogenation, hydroxylation, and overoxidation pathways in reactions with the atomic oxidant N2O. Pair distribution function analysis, N2 adsorption isotherms, X-ray diffraction patterns, and infrared and Raman spectra confirm the single-phase crystallinity and stability of MIL-100(Fe) under reaction conditions (523 K in vacuo, 378-408 K C3H8 + N2O). Density functional theory (DFT) calculations illustrate a reaction mechanism for the formation of 2-propanol, propylene, and 1-propanol involving the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III) via a high-spin Fe(IV)a•O intermediate. The speciation of Fe(II) and Fe(III) in the nodes and their dynamic interchange was characterized by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and ex situ Mössbauer spectroscopy. The catalytic relevance of Fe(II) sites and the number of such sites were determined using in situ chemical titrations with NO. N2 and C3H6 production rates were found to be first-order in N2O partial pressure and zero-order in C3H8 partial pressure, consistent with DFT calculations that predict the reaction of Fe(II) with N2O to be rate determining. DFT calculations using a broken symmetry method show that Fe-trimer nodes affecting reaction contain antiferromagnetically coupled iron species, and highlight the importance of stabilizing high-spin (S = 2) Fe(II) species for effecting alkane oxidation at low temperatures (408 K).
How much support was provided by MRSEC?
Reporting period for MRSEC
- Period 6
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article