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Density Functional Theory (DFT) Study To Unravel the Catalytic Properties of M‑Exchanged MFI, (M = Be, Co, Cu, Mg, Mn, Zn) for the Conversion of Methane and Carbon Dioxide to Acetic Acid

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journal contribution
posted on 22.08.2017, 00:00 by Brian D. Montejo-Valencia, Yomaira J. Pagán-Torres, María M. Martínez-Iñesta, María C. Curet-Arana
The conversion of greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and CH4, to value chemicals is a major challenge, because of the high stability of both molecules. In this study, density functional theory (DFT) calculations with long-range corrections and ONIOM were used to analyze the reaction mechanism for the conversion of CO2 and CH4 to acetic acid with MFI zeolite exchanged with Be, Co, Cu, Mg, Mn, and Zn cations. Our results demonstrate that (a) the highest reaction barrier on the reaction mechanism is CH4 dissociation, and the transition state energy in that step is directly related to the energy of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital and the electronegativity of the metal exchanged zeolites; (b) a charge transfer between CH4 and the metal cation occurs simultaneously to CH4 dissociation; (c) CO2 insertion has a low energy barrier, and the protonation of the acetate species is spontaneous; (d) dispersion interactions are the main contributions to CH4 adsorption energies, whereas, in the rest of the steps of the reaction mechanism, the contribution of dispersion to the energies of reaction is almost negligible; (e) desorption of acetic acid could be promoted by the coadsorption of water; and (f) CH4 dissociation on Cu-MFI has an apparent activation energy of 11.5 kcal/mol, and a forward rate constant of 1.1 s–1 at 398 K.

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