Ammoxidation of m-xylene is evaluated in the presence of a customized heteropoly acid catalyst as an imidazole/molybdovanadophosphoric acid (imidazole/PMoV). Imidazole is employed to maintain its heterogeneous phase during the ammoxidation reaction and to provide the thermal stability of PMoV with the expectation that imidazole can generate strong electronic interactions with terminal molybdenum-oxygen on PMoV. The characterizations of the prepared catalysts are performed using SEM–EDX, XRD, FT-IR, Raman, XPS, and TGA to prove the physical and chemical changes by incorporating imidazole to PMoV, respectively. Also, the thermal stability of the developed catalyst is confirmed by the means of heat treatment test at relatively high temperature. The composite catalyst, imidazole/PMoV, shows an excellent conversion rate of over 98% with high selectivity of isophthalonitrile in m-xylene ammoxidation. Moreover, while the imidazole-free PMoV catalyst is deactivated and washed out during the reaction, the catalyst durability of the imidazole/PMoV is preserved without significant activity loss after 5 reaction cycles at 380 °C.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Michel Che, who sadly passed away on August 7th, 2019. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1F1A107320111), and by the Development of eco-friendly production system technology for total periodic resource cycle funded by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (kitech EO-20-0022).
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