Heteropoly compounds (HPC) have revealed their potential to generate catalyst for selectively converting light alkanes to oxygenated products. There are various structures in which they are active the primary structure being that of the heteropolyanion itself, the secondary structure is the three-dimensional arrangements of polyanions, and the tertiary structure representing the manner in which the secondary structure assembles into solid particles. There are also a huge variety of elements inside the HPA. The heteropoly acids can have acidity, which varies dramatically depending on composition. This complexity of situation makes it very difficult to really have a predictive vision of their ability to activate and functionalize alkanes. However, a large amount of data reported suggests that the initial formula of the precatalyst is pivotal to direct the selectivity of the reaction toward different oxygenates. Inclusion of alternative transition metal atoms as addenda is highly influential with iron, vanadium, and antimony being particularly outstanding.
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