Molecular Inspired Solid Catalysts for the Direct Oxidation of Methane to Methanol

Direct oxidation of methane to methanol is a long standing challenge in catalysis hampered by the high binding energy of the CH3-H bond and the ease of overoxidation to CO2. Our studies concentrate on the development of polymer based solid catalysts for the oxidation of methane to methanol via methylbisulfate as intermediate species. The polymers exhibit structural units which allow molecular coordination of metal centres within the material. We could demonstrate that such materials reach activities comparable to the well known molecular Periana system together with high selectivities and stability over several recycling steps. Further investigations cover catalyst development, structure-activity relations and process design.

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