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Catalysts 2015, 5(4), 1737-1755; doi:10.3390/catal5041737

Synthesis of Ethanol from Syngas over Rh/MCM-41 Catalyst: Effect of Water on Product Selectivity

1
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Chemical Technology, Teknikringen 42, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
2
UMSA Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Instituto del Gas Natural, Campus Universitario, La Paz, Bolivia
3
Organic Chemistry Department, University of Córdoba, ceiA3, Marie Curie Building, E-14014 Córdoba, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michalis Konsolakis
Received: 20 August 2015 / Revised: 24 September 2015 / Accepted: 10 October 2015 / Published: 19 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Chemistry and Catalysis)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [720 KB, uploaded 23 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

The thermochemical processing of biomass is an alternative route for the manufacture of fuel-grade ethanol, in which the catalytic conversion of syngas to ethanol is a key step. The search for novel catalyst formulations, active sites and types of support is of current interest. In this work, the catalytic performance of an Rh/MCM-41 catalyst has been evaluated and compared with a typical Rh/SiO2 catalyst. They have been compared at identical reaction conditions (280 °C and 20 bar), at low syngas conversion (2.8%) and at same metal dispersion (H/Rh = 22%). Under these conditions, the catalysts showed different product selectivities. The differences have been attributed to the concentration of water vapor in the pores of Rh/MCM-41. The concentration of water vapor could promote the water-gas-shift-reaction generating some extra carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which in turn can induce side reactions and change the product selectivity. The extra hydrogen generated could facilitate the hydrogenation of a C2-oxygenated intermediate to ethanol, thus resulting in a higher ethanol selectivity over the Rh/MCM-41 catalyst as compared to the typical Rh/SiO2 catalyst; 24% and 8%, respectively. The catalysts have been characterized, before and after reaction, by N2-physisorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, H2-chemisorption, transmission electron microscopy and temperature programmed reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethanol; syngas; Rh/MCM-41 catalyst; water vapor ethanol; syngas; Rh/MCM-41 catalyst; water vapor
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lopez, L.; Velasco, J.; Montes, V.; Marinas, A.; Cabrera, S.; Boutonnet, M.; Järås, S. Synthesis of Ethanol from Syngas over Rh/MCM-41 Catalyst: Effect of Water on Product Selectivity. Catalysts 2015, 5, 1737-1755.

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