Syngas conversion to ethanol over a mesoporous Cu/MCM-41 catalyst: Effect of K and Fe promoters

Luis Lopez, Vicente Montes, Henrik Kušar, Saul Cabrera, Magali Boutonnet, Sven Järås

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transportation fuels such as ethanol can be obtained through thermochemical processing of biomass. Interest in the development of more selective catalysts for the conversion of biomass-derived syngas (H2 + CO) to ethanol is increasing in both academia and industry. In this work, we have evaluated the performances of K and Fe as metal promoters of a mesoporous Cu/MCM-41 catalyst and their effects on the product selectivity and especially on ethanol formation. The metal loading was 29 wt.% Cu, 2 wt.% Fe and 1.6 wt.% K. The catalysts were tested at 300 °C, 20 bar and gas-hourly-space-velocities in the range of 1500–30000 mlsyngas/gcat h; under these conditions the syngas conversion level was between 2 and 11%. The non-promoted Cu/MCM-41 catalyst showed interesting selectivity toward oxygenated compounds, mostly methanol. The addition of K as promoter increases the selectivity toward methanol even more, while the addition of Fe as promoter favors the formation of hydrocarbon compounds. When both K and Fe as promoters are incorporated into the Cu/MCM-41 catalyst, the reaction rate to oxygenated compounds is notably increased, especially for ethanol. The space time yield for ethanol for the Cu/MCM-41 catalyst is 0.3 × 10−5 carbon-mol/gcath which increases to 165.5 × 10−5 carbon-mol/gcath for the Cu-Fe-K/MCM-41 catalyst. From XPS analysis, the Cu-Fe-K/MCM-41 catalyst was found to have the following atomic composition: Cu0.34Fe0.08K0.08Si1.00. The promoting effect of both K and Fe, may be related to an increased reaction rate toward CO non-dissociation and CO-dissociation paths, respectively, which is beneficial for the ethanol formation. Further catalytic results, catalyst characterization and discussion of results are presented in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Volume526
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is gratefully acknowledged for financial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Copper
  • Ethanol
  • Mesoporous MCM-41
  • Promoters
  • Syngas

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