Ammoxidation of 3-Picoline: An Activity and High-Resolution Electron Microscopic Investigation of Vanadium Oxide Catalysts
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A V2O5 catalyst was used in the ammoxidation of 3-picoline to nicotinonitrile. It was observed that the selectivity for the formation of CO2 as a function of temperature passed through a minimum. This is explained to be due to the existence of weakly bonded electrophilic oxygen species at low temperatures, and an increasing degradation involving O2− at high temperatures. A comparison of two different V2O5 preparations shows the beneficial effect of the V2O5(010) plane on the formation of nicotinonitrile. The exposure of planes other than the (010) plane as the source of formation of CO2 is discussed by consideration of bond strength values. The activity, selectivity, and composition of the charged V2O5 catalyst were followed as a function of time-on-stream at various temperatures. It was found that the V2O5 phase was reduced in the course of the reaction. V4O9, VO2(B), VO2 (tetragonal), and even more reduced phases were formed depending upon the reaction temperature used. Of the pure oxides, V4O9 was found to be both less active and less selective than V2O5. VO2(B), however, is more active but less selective compared to V2O5. The phases formed were characterized by various methods including high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). This technique made it possible to image the View the MathML source phase boundary for the first time. The general direction of this boundary is parallel to the (301) plane of V2O5. Micrographs of VO2(B) show that the nature of defects formed depends on the reaction temperature. After use at 695 K two types of planar twin lamellae were formed. At a slightly higher temperature partly amorphous defects appeared. The influence on the catalytic reaction of the phase boundaries and defects formed is discussed.