Catalysis Letters

, Volume 130, Issue 3–4, pp 327–334 | Cite as

Dependence of n-Butane Activation on Active Site of Vanadium Phosphate Catalysts

  • Y. H. Taufiq-Yap
  • C. K. Goh
  • G. J. Hutchings
  • N. Dummer
  • J. Bartley


The nature and the role of oxygen species and vanadium oxidation states on the activation of n-butane for selective oxidation to maleic anhydride were investigated. Bi–Fe doped and undoped vanadium phosphate catalysts were used a model catalyst. XRD revealed that Bi–Fe mixture dopants led to formation of αII-VOPO4 phase together with (VO)2P2O7 as a dominant phase when the materials were heated in n-butane/air to form the final catalysts. TPR analysis showed that the reduction behaviour of Bi–Fe doped catalysts was dominated by the reduction peak assigned to the reduction of V5+ species as compared to the undoped catalyst, which gave the reduction of V4+ as the major feature. An excess of the oxygen species (O2−) associated with V5+ in Bi–Fe doped catalysts improved the maleic anhydride selectivity but significantly lowering the rate of n-butane conversion. The reactive pairing of V4+-O was shown to be the centre for n-butane activation. It is proposed that the availability and appearance of active oxygen species (O) on the surface of vanadium phosphate catalyst is the rate determining step of the overall reaction.


Vanadium phosphate n-Butane oxidation Vanadium Oxygen species Maleic anhydride Activation 



Financial support from the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. H. Taufiq-Yap
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. K. Goh
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. J. Hutchings
    • 3
  • N. Dummer
    • 3
  • J. Bartley
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre of Excellence for Catalysis Science and TechnologyUniversity Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceUniversity Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of ChemistryCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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