Paired Copper Monomers in Zeolite Omega: The Active Site for Methane-to-Methanol Conversion

Amy J. Knorpp, Ana B. Pinar, Christian Baerlocher, Lynne B. McCusker, Nicola Casati, Mark A. Newton, Stefano Checchia, Jordan Meyet, Dennis Palagin, Jeroen A. van Bokhoven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The direct conversion of methane to methanol using oxygen is a challenging but potentially rewarding pathway towards utilizing methane. By using a stepwise chemical looping approach, copper-exchanged zeolites can convert methane to methanol, but productivity is still too low for viable implementation. However, if the nature of the active site could be elucidated, that information could be used to design more effective catalysts. By employing anomalous X-ray powder diffraction with support from theory and other X-ray techniques, we have derived a quantitative and spatial description of the highly selective, active copper sites in zeolite omega (Cu-omega). This is the first comprehensive description of the structure of non-copper-oxo active species and will provide a pivotal model for future development for materials for methane to methanol conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5854-5858
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • anomalous X-ray diffraction
  • copper zeolites
  • methane
  • methanol
  • zeolite omega


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