Studies on the Catalytic-Oxidation of Alkanes and Alkenes by Titanium Silicates
Titanium containing, aluminum-free ZSM-5 (TS-1) and amorphous TiO_2-SiO_2 coprecipitate are investigated as catalysts for the selective oxidation of alkanes and alkenes using a variety of oxidants at temperatures below 100°C. Comparisons between the activities of TS-1 and the TiO2-SiO2 coprecipitate for alkane oxidation and alkene epoxidation using nonaqueous H_2O_2 indicate that the absence of water is crucial for the catalytic activity of silica-supported titanium. Due to the hydrophobicity of TS-1, the concentration of water surrounding the titanium is maintained at a low value, and thus TS-1 can be used as an oxidation catalyst with aqueous H_2O_2 as oxidant. Alkyl hydroperoxides are active as oxidants for alkene epoxidation on the TiO_2-SiO_2 coprecipitate but not for alkane oxidation reactions on both TS-1 and the TiO_2-SiO_2 coprecipitate. A plausible explanation for the above results is provided. The presence of stereoscrambling without any "radical clock" rearrangement during alkane oxidation on TS-1 indicates that the radicals formed may have a very short life-time, or their movements are restricted such that no rearrangement can occur. A proposal for the mechanism of alkane oxidation on TS-1 is given and compared to a mechanism suggested for alkene epoxidation on TS-1 and the TiO_2-SiO_2 coprecipitate.
© 1994 Academic Press. Support of this work was provided by the Shell Development Co. and the NSF Alan T. Waterman Award to M.E.D.