Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Highly Selective Catalysts for Epoxidation of Ethylene to Form Ethylene Oxide

Technology #4082

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Suljo Linic
Managed By
Jeremy Nelson
Senior Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734-936-2095
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending


Ethylene epoxidation is a process where oxygen and ethylene are reacted over supported Ag catalysts to produce ethylene oxide and combustion products.


This invention relates to a new preparation method for Ag catalysts used in gas phase ethylene epoxidation. The critical metrics for the quality of a catalyst is the selectivity to ethylene oxide. This technology achieves inherently more selective monometallic Ag catalysts compared with Ag catalysts used currently, synthesized through standard incipient wetness or impregnation techniques.

Applications and Advantages


  • Production of ethylene glycol (antifreeze), as well as detergents, ethanolamines, lubricants and many other commodity products.


  • This work focuses on a different method, where the face structure of Ag nano-structures can be controlled in the synthesis for more selective epoxidation.