Selective oxidation is one of the most important chemical processes to functionalize hydrocarbons and many other raw materials. In chemical industry, approximately 20 % of all processes are based on oxidation reactions, and around 600 million tons of chemicals are produced through oxidation reactions worldwide per year. In order to achieve high selectivity, many processes are often operated at partial conversion, and require subsequent energy-consuming separation and raw-material recycling. There are well-established large-scale industrial oxidation processes in the gas phase, which are regularly optimized and improved, but there has been no real breakthrough, and not many new processes arose in recent years. Liquid-phase operation has the potential for new breakthroughs.
The CRC/TRR 247 aims at bringing heterogeneous oxidation catalysis in the liquid phase to a level of fundamental understanding that is comparable to metal catalysis in the gas phase, i.e. to unravel the nature of the catalytically active sites and the reaction mechanisms.