Tailoring the Surface Structure of Silicon Carbide Support for Copper Catalyzed Ethanol Dehydrogenation

Li, M.-Y. and Lu, W.-D. and He, L. and Schüth, F. and Lu, A.-H.

Volume: 11 Pages: 481-487
DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201801742
Published: 2019

The production of acetaldehyde through biomass-derived ethanol dehydrogenation is a sustainable alternative compared to the fossil-feedstock based process, for which Cu-based catalysts are considered to be the most efficient. Herein, we modified the surface of silicon carbide (SiC) to alter the properties of the interface from SiO2-rich to C-rich, and we prepared a series of Cu-supported catalysts (Cu/SiC, Cu/SiO2/SiC, and Cu/C/SiC) with the aim of insight into the effect of the interface structure and composition on catalytic dehydrogenation of ethanol. At 280 °C, the Cu/SiO2/SiC catalyst exhibits high ethanol conversion due to the excellent dispersion of Cu nanoparticles promoted by SiO2-rich interface. In contrast, Cu nanoparticles dispersed on C/SiC shows somewhat lower activity but excellent acetaldehyde selectivity with trace amounts of by-products under identical reaction conditions. This difference is attributed to the fast removal of acetaldehyde because of its low affinity for the relatively inert C-rich interface (C/SiC). This work provides an in-depth understanding of Cu−Si−C multi-interfacial structure and the ethanol dehydrogenation behavior, which may shed light on the design of novel catalysts with tailored interfacial structures. © 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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