Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a powerful, environmentally friendly industrial oxidant, which (in contrast to other common oxidising agents) produces only water as a by-product. H2O2 is primarily used for bleaching paper and textiles, and in chemical synthesis, and is increasingly being used to treat industrial waste in preference to oxidants containing chloride. Global demand for H2O2 is expected to exceed 5.5 million tons by 2020, with demand increasing at a rate of 4% per year. The rise in demand is mainly coming from the chemical synthesis industry, with H2O2 used in the production of propylene oxide and cyclohexanone oxime, key intermediates for the production of polymers.
Prof. Hutchings says,
We specialise in ‘reasonably challenging reactions’, and access to ePSIC is key to our work. We book time in three-day blocks - in this case on the E01-JEM ARM 200CF microscope - to carry out Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) and X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (X-EDS). Members of our team are trained to use the microscope and process the data, and being able to look at the morphology of nanoparticles, and to do an elemental analysis, is extremely valuable.
The team were able to demonstrate the efficacy of TS-1 supported AuPd and AuPdPt catalysts for the direct synthesis of H2O2, and established a method for imparting catalyst stability via appropriate heat treatment while maintaining the MFI structure of the zeotype. They showed that, through the introduction of small concentrations of platinum into a supported AuPd/TS-1 catalyst, it is possible to significantly enhance catalytic selectivity towards H2O2, improving overall yields and representing a promising system to explore the direct synthesis of H2O2. This was the first stage of a project to develop a procedure to synthesise H2O2 in situ and then use it in chemical reactions. The work has been completed, and further papers will be published in due course.
To find out more about the electron Physical Science Imaging Centre (ePSIC), or to discuss potential applications, please contact Principal Electron Microscopist Chris Allen: email@example.com.
Lewis RJ et al. The Direct Synthesis of H2O2 Using TS-1 Supported Catalysts. ChemCatChem 11:6 (2019). DOI:10.1002/cctc.201900100.
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