Catalysis Today, Vol.372, 146-153, 2021
Catalytic behavior of the WOx-ZrO2 system in the clean selective oxidation of diphenyl sulfide (DPS)
WOx-ZrO2 (ZWx) based catalysts were prepared by equilibrium adsorption in basic condition (pH 10) with W content of 10.5, 19.7 and 27.0 wt.%, using hydrous zirconia [ZrO2(383)] as support. In order to determine the soluble fraction of W species which did not interact with the surface, samples were leached with NH3, dried and re-calcined [ZWx(NH3)y]. The W content was determined by spectrophotometric method, before and after the leaching. All catalysts were characterized by textural analysis (BET), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy; the acidic strength was determined by potentiometric titration with n-butylamine. The catalytic behavior was analyzed for the selective oxidation of diphenyl sulfide (DPS) to diphenyl sulfoxide (DPSO) or diphenyl sulfone (DPSO2) using H2O2 as oxidizing agent. High conversion of DPS (-100 %) and selectivity to DPSO2 (>90 %) at 60 min of reaction time were obtained for the ZWx series of catalysts. The ZWx (NH3)y series (W content: 3.65, 6.50 and 7.50 wt.%, respectively) also showed high selectivity to diphenyl sulfone but the maximum conversion (-100 %) was achieved with reaction times longer (30 min) than those of the ZWx (10 min) samples. Polytungstate species strongly interacting with the support, identified by Raman spectroscopy in both series of samples, are considered the active phases.