Effect of precursor on the performance of alumina for the dehydration of methanol to dimethyl ether
Dimethyl ether (DME) is amongst one of the most promising alternative, renewable and clean fuels being considered as a future energy carrier. In this study, the comparative catalytic performance of γ-Al2O3 prepared from two common precursors (aluminum nitrate (AN) and aluminum chloride (AC)) is presented. The impact of calcination temperature was evaluated in order to optimize both the precursor and pre-treatment conditions for the production of DME from methanol in a fixed bed reactor. The catalysts were characterized by TGA, XRD, BET and TPD-pyridine. Under reaction conditions where the temperature ranged from 180 °C to 300 °C with a WHSV = 12.1 h−1 it was found that all the catalysts prepared from AN(η-Al2O3) showed higher activity, at all calcination temperatures, than those prepared from AC(γ-Al2O3). In this study the optimum catalyst was produced from AN and calcined at 550 °C. This catalyst showed a high degree of stability and had double the activity of the commercial γ-Al2O3 or 87% of the activity of commercial ZSM-5(80) at 250 °C.
Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slideHighlights► Effect of precursors on the catalytic performance of alumina. ► AN samples are higher activity than AC, while AN550 is the optimum one. ► The AN550 showed methanol conversion and DME selectivity of 72% and 100% at 250 °C, respectively. ► Acid site density affected catalytic performance among the catalysts with alumina phase. ► Synthesis of alumina catalyst with high activity compared to commercial γ-Al2O3.
Journal: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental - Volume 127, 30 October 2012, Pages 307–315