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An Overview of Recent Advances of the Catalytic Selective Oxidation of Ethane to Oxygenates

Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Keith Hohn
Catalysts 2016, 6(5), 71;
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 6 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 16 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Selective Oxidation)
PDF [2566 KB, uploaded 16 May 2016]


The selective partial oxidation of short chain alkanes is a key challenge within catalysis research. Direct ethane oxidation to oxygenates is a difficult aim, but potentially rewarding, and it could lead to a paradigm shift in the supply chain of several bulk chemicals. Unfortunately, low C–H bond reactivity and kinetically labile products are just some reasons affecting the development and commercialisation of such processes. Research into direct ethane oxidation is therefore disparate, with approaches ranging from oxidation in the gas phase at high temperatures to enzyme catalysed hydroxylation under ambient conditions. Furthermore, in overcoming the barrier posed by the chemically inert C–H bond a range of oxidants have been utilised. Despite years of research, this remains an intriguing topic from both academic and commercial perspectives. Herein we describe some recent developments within the field of catalytic ethane oxidation focusing on the formation of oxygenated products, whilst addressing the key challenges which are still to be overcome. View Full-Text
Keywords: catalysis; ethane; partial oxidation; natural gas catalysis; ethane; partial oxidation; natural gas

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Armstrong, R.D.; Hutchings, G.J.; Taylor, S.H. An Overview of Recent Advances of the Catalytic Selective Oxidation of Ethane to Oxygenates. Catalysts 2016, 6, 71.

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