Industrial Aerobic Oxidation of Hydrocarbons
In this chapter, two industrial processes of gas-phase, hydrocarbon catalytic oxidation are examined: (a) the oxychlorination of ethylene to 1,2-dichloroethane; and (b) the oxidation of
n-butane to maleic anhydride. In the former case, the use of ethane as an alternative reactant has been studied, still without success, whereas in the latter case the alkane has replaced the corresponding C4 alkenes because of the better selectivity achieved. Recent developments are discussed for the two reactions, especially in terms of catalysts’ chemical-–physical and reactivity properties.