Development of Cu/ZnO/Al_2O_3 Catalyst for Dimethyl Ether Synthesis from CO-CO_2-H_2 Mixture

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The objective of this study is to develop a catalyst for direct synthesis of dimethyl ether ((CH<sub>3</sub>)<sub>2</sub>O, DME) from a CO-CO<sub>2</sub>-H<sub>2</sub> mixture such as blast furnace gas. For this purpose, precipitated Cu-ZnO-<I>X</I> (<I>X</I>=Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>, Cr<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>, ZrO<sub>2</sub> or Ga<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>) were systematically prepared by changing chemical composition and their catalytic activity was measured. For Cu-ZnO-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> catalyst, compositional research was on two parameters, namely Cu/ZnO ratio (3/7-5/5) and content of Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> (0-33.0 mol%). The influence of each parameter was estimated by DME and MeOH yields for the same catalyst mass. Some Cu-ZnO-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> catalysts synthesized DME more than MeOH, in which the DME activity was related to specific surface area and existence of broadened ZnO peaks in XRD patterns. In contrast, three other Cu-ZnO catalysts including another oxide (Cr<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>, ZrO<sub>2</sub> or Ga<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>) synthesized only MeOH without DME. Content of Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> was more influential on DME synthesis than Cu/ZnO ratio. In conclusion, the most active composition of Cu-ZnO-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> catalyst for DME synthesis was Cu/ZnO=4/6 with 14.3 mol% Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> and interestingly this composition was included within the range of usual MeOH synthesis catalysts.

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  • ISIJ international  

    ISIJ international 38(1), 93-97, 1998-01-15 

    The Iron and Steel Institute of Japan

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