Combinatorial synthesis and screening technique have been applied to investigate the catalytic activity and selectivity of ternary and quaternary mixed-metal oxide catalysts for the selective oxidation of propane. The catalyst libraries were prepared via a modified sol-gel method using a synthesis robot and library design software, and examined for the catalytic activities in a simple high-throughput reactor system connected to a mass spectrometer for product analysis. Ternary Mo-Cr-Te, V-Cr-Sb, and Mo-V-Cr catalysts have been selected for potential candidate by composition spread approach. In a next generation composition spread library, the composition space of these three ternary compositions was sampled. Screening of this 198-member library provided substantial evidence that each ternary system has its own optimum composition where acrolein formation is highest. In addition, the composition space of the quaternary reference system Mo-V-Te-Nb mixed-oxides has also been prepared and sampled.
Keywords: Composition spread, high-throughput experimentation (HTE), propane, quaternary mixed-metal oxide, selective oxidation, sol-gel, ternary mixed-metal oxide
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