Environmentally Benign Photo-Assisted Catalysis Selective Oxidation Reactions in Zeolites

EPA Grant Number: R825304
Title: Environmentally Benign Photo-Assisted Catalysis Selective Oxidation Reactions in Zeolites
Investigators: Larsen, Sarah C. , Grassian, Vicki H.
Institution: University of Iowa
EPA Project Officer: Klieforth, Barbara I
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 1999
Project Amount: $260,228
RFA: Technology for a Sustainable Environment (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Sustainability


The purpose of these studies is to develop selective photo oxidation of hydrocarbons in zeolites as an environmentally benign alternative to conventional liquid phase oxidation of industrially important chemicals. Developing green methodology for the catalytic syntheses of industrially important chemicals is necessary if the production of hazardous waste is to be reduced. The approach to this problem is unique in that it combines several key aspects to eliminating waste. First, the reactions are done in the gas phase thereby eliminating the use of organic solvents. Second, solar light can be used to initiate the reaction, therefore, the method has the potential to be energy efficient. Third, the unique properties of zeolites, long exploited in industry, are used to both control the initial selective oxidation reaction and for further selective steps in synthesis of industrially important chemicals.

Spectroscopic techniques, such as Fourier-Transform Infrared (FT-IR), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) will be used to investigate these systems. A photoreactor, in conjunction with mass spectrometry and gas chromatography, will be utilized to detect products downstream of the reactor and to determine reaction rates, kinetic parameters and photoyields for these reactions. Quantum yields will be determined from UV/Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy.

The first phase of this research will be to determine the role of the zeolite in the stabilization of the charge transfer state by varying the exchangeable cation and by varying the parent zeolite. The results will demonstrate that selective photo oxidation in zeolites is a general technique and that synthetic strategies can be developed using the shape-selective and chemical properties of different zeolites. The second phase of the proposed research will be to develop a strategy for the synthesis of specific organic molecules that would decrease the environmental impact of the synthesis.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 13 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

chemical synthese, pollution prevention, alternative catalysis, waste reduction, environmentally conscious manufacturing, cost reduction, environmental chemistry, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, in-process changes, cleaner production, zeolites, oxidation, environmentally conscious manufacturing, oxidation reactions, photoreactor, catalysts, hazardous waste, alternative materials, photochemical alternatives, photo-assisted catalysis, industrial process, process modification, innovative technology, pollution prevention, industrial innovations, alternative chemical synthesis

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • Final Report