The effect of oxide coating on the activity of a copper-zinc oxide–based catalyst for methanol synthesis via the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide was investigated. A commercial catalyst was coated with various oxides by a sol-gel method. The influence of the types of promoters used in the sol-gel reaction was investigated. Temperature-programmed reduction-thermogravimetric analysis revealed that the reduction peak assigned to the copper species in the oxide-coated catalysts prepared using ammonia shifts to lower temperatures than that of the pristine catalyst; in contrast, the reduction peak shifts to higher temperatures for the catalysts prepared using L(+)-arginine. These observations indicated that the copper species were weakly bonded with the oxide and were easily reduced by using ammonia. The catalysts prepared using ammonia show higher CO2
conversion than the catalysts prepared using L(+)-arginine. Among the catalysts prepared using ammonia, the silica-coated catalyst displayed a high activity at high temperatures, while the zirconia-coated catalyst and titania-coated catalyst had high activity at low temperatures. At high temperature the conversion over the silica-coated catalyst does not significantly change with reaction temperature, while the conversion over the zirconia-coated catalyst and titania-coated catalyst decreases with reaction time. From the results of FTIR, the durability depends on hydrophilicity of the oxides.
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