Abstract by Emma Orcutt
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Oxidative Dehydrogenation using Hydrogen Oxidant
Oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of alkanes is a viable way to produce alkenes, important building-blocks in industry. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have gained popularity as an ODH catalyst due to their broad availability, environmentally benign properties and tunable surface chemistry. Functional groups on CNT are continually changing during ODH as certain functional groups react and leave unstable vacancies where new groups can form. Oxygen is a common ODH oxidant, that is used for activating and converting ethane to ethylene. Our study designed a hydrogen peroxide treated CNT catalyst, but reduced with H2. This treatment method prevents formation of unselective sites by forming less reactive hydrogen bonds. Using Iodometric titration and XPS the type and amount of different oxygen functional groups are characterized. ODH selectivity, conversion, and yield have a linear correlation between the certain functional groups and catalytic activity. This suggests the importance of specific oxygen species in ODH.