Structures and reaction mechanisms of propene oxide isomerization on H-ZSM-5: an ONIOM study.

Research paper by Supawadee S Namuangruk, Pipat P Khongpracha, Piboon P Pantu, Jumras J Limtrakul

Indexed on: 22 Dec '06Published on: 22 Dec '06Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry B


The isomerization mechanisms of propene oxide over H-ZSM-5 zeolite have been investigated via the utilization of 5T and 46T cluster models calculated by the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) and the ONIOM(B3LYP/6-31G(d,p):UFF) methods, respectively. The reactions are considered to proceed through a stepwise mechanism: (1) the epoxide ring protonation, and concurrently the ring-opening, and (2) the 1,2-hydride shift forming the adsorbed carbonyl compound. Because of the asymmetric structure of propene oxide, two different C-O bonds (more or less substituted carbon atom sides) can be broken leading to two different types of products, propanal and propanone. The ring-opening step of these mechanisms is found to be the rate-determining step with an activation barrier of 38.5 kcal/mol for the propanal and of 42.4 kcal/mol for the propanone. Therefore, the propanal is predicted to be the main product for this reaction.