Stepwise conversion of methane to methanol on Cu and Fe/zeolites prepared in solid state: the effect of zeolite type and activation temperature
Journal article, 2023

BACKGROUND: Grand efforts have been recently devoted to the development of catalysts based on the excellent performance of Cu- and Fe-dependent enzymes in methanotrophic bacteria for the partial oxidation of methane to methanol under ambient conditions. As a continuation of the study on the stepwise manner for this conversion over zeolite-based catalysts, in this work, the effects of zeolite topology and activation temperature on the catalytic performance of Cu- and Fe-containing zeolites were investigated. RESULTS: Cu species exchanged in the medium-pore zeolites (mordenite, ZSM-5, and ferrierite) afforded better methanol production, while large-pore zeolites (zeolite β and zeolite γ) were inappropriate to accommodate active Cu sites. Notably, Cu/silicalite-1 containing CuO species was also reactive to methane after the activation in O2, yielding a minor methanol amount. Furthermore, the activity of Fe/mordenite towards the methanol in the O2-assisted procedure was reported for the first time but with a much lower yield as compared to that of Cu/mordenite. The methanol yield over Cu/mordenite increased with the activation temperature because increasing the activation temperature favored the Cu-exchange degree with a higher priority at the side pockets as compared to the main channels of mordenite, as evidenced from infrared analysis. CONCLUSION: The selective oxidation of methane to methanol by O2 via a stepwise manner can be obtained over both ion-exchanged Cu species and well-dispersed CuO nanoparticles with better activity being recorded for the former. The activity of Cu-exchanged zeolites was considerably dependent on the zeolite topology and the charge-balancing position of the Cu2+ cations.



methane-to-methanol conversion

stepwise manner

solid-state ion exchange


Ha V. Le

Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology - HCMUT

Vietnam National University

Hoang Phuoc Ho

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Annette Trunschke

Max Planck Society

Reinhard Schomäcker

Technische Universität Berlin

Arne Thomas

Technische Universität Berlin

Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

0268-2575 (ISSN)

Vol. In Press

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering

Organic Chemistry



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