American Journal of Physical Chemistry

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Photocatalytic Epoxidation of Propylene with Bi2WO6-Based Catalyst Supported on Glass Beads

The photo activities of some photo-catalysts including TiO2, Bi2WO6 and Bi2WO6-TiO2 (in various mixing ratios) were evaluated for photo-epoxidation of propylene. The photocatalytic epoxidation reaction was performed in gas-phase under atmospheric pressure. Typical reaction mixture of C3H6:O2:N2 corresponding to the ratio 1:1:18, afforded PO (PO) in addition to other products such as acetone, acetaldehyde and propanal as observed by the FTIR-GCMS tandem analysis. It was established from the results that Bi2WO6-TiO2 photo-catalysts were more preferable for selectivity of PO peaking at 49%. The highest formation rate of PO achieved was 111μmol g cat-1 h-1 over 12mol% Bi2WO6-TiO2 ratio in a typical flow reaction for 1h at 345 K under UVA illumination. Under this condition the selectivity of products was also observed to be very stable. Further study on the effect of light intensity revealed that increasing the light intensity from 0.1 to 0.3mWcm-2 significantly increased the selectivity of PO by 5%. Higher intensity depreciated the PO selectivity. In order to study the effect of temperature on the photocatalytic epoxidation reaction, a systematic approach was followed. As raising the reaction temperature influences the distribution of products significantly, a temperature range of 335-355 K was used in the optimised reaction condition. At 355 K, it was observed that the formation of propanal was favoured which was attributed to its inhibition to be transformed into propionic acid. However, raising the reaction temperature was observed to affect the rate of reaction in two ways: first, the adsorption of PR on to the photo-catalyst which causes a decrease in the reaction efficiency was reduced and secondly, the desorption of products of reaction which in turn reveals more active sites, was improved.

Propylene, Photo-Catalysis, Photo-Oxidation, Propylene Oxide, Photo-Reactor

Emmanuel Alhassan Kamba, Qiao Chen. (2023). Photocatalytic Epoxidation of Propylene with Bi2WO6-Based Catalyst Supported on Glass Beads. American Journal of Physical Chemistry, 12(1), 7-16.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. E. Klemm et al., “Direct gas-phase epoxidation of propene with hydrogen peroxide on TS-1 zeolite in a microstructured reactor,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 2086–2090, 2008.
2. P. Ferrandez, “Alternatives for the production of propene oxide,” 2015.
3. X. Lang, X. Chen, and J. Zhao, “Heterogeneous visible light photocatalysis for selective organic transformations,” Chem. Soc. Rev., vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 473–486, 2014.
4. V.-H. Nguyen, H.-Y. Chan, J. C. S. Wu, and H. Bai, “Direct gas-phase photocatalytic epoxidation of propylene with molecular oxygen by photocatalysts,” Chem. Eng. J., vol. 179, pp. 285–294, 2011.
5. J. He, Q. Zhai, Q. Zhang, W. Deng, and Y. Wang, “Active site and reaction mechanism for the epoxidation of propylene by oxygen over CuOx/SiO2 catalysts with and without Cs+ modification,” J. Catal., vol. 299, pp. 53–66, Mar. 2013.
6. N. Li, B. Yang, M. Liu, Y. Chen, and J. Zhou, “Synergetic photo-epoxidation of propylene with molecular oxygen over bimetallic Au–Ag/TS-1 photocatalysts,” Chinese J. Catal., vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 831–843, May 2017.
7. Z. Suo, M. Jin, J. Lu, Z. Wei, and C. Li, “Direct gas-phase epoxidation of propylene to propylene oxide using air as oxidant on supported gold catalyst,” J. Nat. Gas Chem., vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 184–190, Jun. 2008.
8. L. Cumaranatunge and W. N. Delgass, “Enhancement of Au capture efficiency and activity of Au/TS-1 catalysts for propylene epoxidation,” J. Catal., vol. 232, no. 1, pp. 38–42, 2005.
9. S. J. Khatib and S. T. Oyama, “Direct Oxidation of Propylene to Propylene Oxide with Molecular Oxygen: A Review,” Catal. Rev., vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 306–344, Jul. 2015.
10. R. Amadelli, L. Samiolo, A. Maldotti, A. Molinari, and D. Gazzoli, “Selective photooxidation and photoreduction processes at Tio 2 surface-modified by grafted vanadyl,” Int. J. Photoenergy, vol. 2011, 2011.
11. F. Amano, K. Nogami, R. Abe, and B. Ohtani, “Preparation and Characterization of Bismuth Tungstate Polycrystalline Flake-Ball Particles for Photocatalytic Reactions,” J. Phys. Chem. C, vol. 112, no. 25, pp. 9320–9326, Jun. 2008.
12. S. Murcia-López, V. Vaiano, D. Sannino, M. C. Hidalgo, and J. A. Navío, “Photocatalytic propylene epoxidation on Bi2WO6-based photocatalysts,” Res. Chem. Intermed., vol. 41, no. 7, pp. 4199–4212, Jul. 2015.
13. V. A. Patil, J. A. Liburdy, and J. Homepage, “Turbulent flow characteristics in a randomly packed porous bed based on particle image velocimetry measurements Additional information on Phys. Fluids Turbulent flow characteristics in a randomly packed porous bed based on particle image velocimetry measurements,” Cit. Phys. Fluids, vol. 25, p. 43304, 2013.
14. A. V. Vorontsov, D. V. Kozlov, P. G. Smirniotis, and V. N. Parmon, “TiO2 photocatalytic oxidation: II. Gas-phase processes,” Kinet. Catal., vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 422–436, 2005.
15. M. M. Khan, S. F. Adil, and A. Al-Mayouf, “Metal oxides as photocatalysts,” Journal of Saudi Chemical Society, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 462–464, 2015.
16. M. Qiu et al., “Synthesis of Ti 3+ self-doped TiO 2 nanocrystals based on Le Chatelier’s principle and their application in solar light photocatalysis.”
17. S. M. Gupta and M. Tripathi, “A review of TiO2 nanoparticles,” Chinese Sci. Bull., vol. 56, no. 16, pp. 1639–1657, 2011.
18. J. S. Kim and T. K. Lee, “Effect of humidity on the photocatalytic degradation of trichloroethylene in gas Phase over TiO2 thin films treated by different conditions,” Korean J. Chem. Eng., vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 935–940, Nov. 2001.
19. E. A. Carter and W. A. Goddard, “Chemisorption of oxygen, chlorine, hydrogen, hydroxide, and ethylene on silver clusters: A model for the olefin epoxidation reaction,” Surf. Sci., vol. 209, no. 1–2, pp. 243–289, Feb. 1989.