Transition-metal-exchanged zeolites perform remarkable chemical reactions from low-temperature methane to methanol oxidation to selective reduction of NOx pollutants. As with metalloenzymes, metallozeolites have impressive reactivities that are controlled in part by interactions outside the immediate coordination sphere. These second-sphere effects include activating a metal site through enforcing an "entatic"state, controlling binding and access to the metal site with pockets and channels, and directing radical rebound vs cage escape. This review explores these effects with emphasis placed on but not limited to the selective oxidation of methane to methanol with a focus on copper and iron active sites, although other transition-metal-ion zeolite reactions are also explored. While the actual active-site geometric and electronic structures are different in the copper and iron metallozeolites compared to the metalloenzymes, their second-sphere interactions with the lattice or the protein environments are found to have strong parallels that contribute to their high activity and selectivity.
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