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CO2 Hydrogenation to Higher Alcohols over K‑Promoted Bimetallic Fe–In Catalysts on a Ce–ZrO2 Support

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journal contribution
posted on 29.04.2021, 18:06 by Xiaoying Xi, Feng Zeng, Heng Zhang, Xiaofeng Wu, Jie Ren, Timo Bisswanger, Christoph Stampfer, Jan P. Hofmann, Regina Palkovits, Hero J. Heeres
Novel K-promoted bimetallic Fe- and In-based catalysts on a Ce–ZrO2 support were prepared and tested for higher alcohol synthesis from CO2 and hydrogen. The FeIn/Ce–ZrO2 precursors with different Fe contents were characterized in detail, and well-dispersed Fe2O3 and In2O3 phases with oxygen vacancies were observed. The catalysts were tested in a continuous setup at extended times on stream (up to 100 h) at 300 °C, 10 MPa, a gas hourly space velocity of 4500 mL g–1 h–1, and a H2/CO2 ratio of 3. The effect of K loading, the pretreatment atmosphere, Fe/(Fe + In) molar ratios, and calcination temperature on CO2 conversion and product selectivity were studied. Best performance with a CO2 conversion of 29.6% and a higher alcohol selectivity of 28.7%, together with good stability, was obtained over a K-0.82-FeIn/Ce–ZrO2_900 catalyst after activation under a CO atmosphere. These findings were rationalized by considering the effects of the individual catalyst components (K, Fe, and In) on catalyst performance. Surprisingly, the presence of calcined SiC, used as a diluent in the packed bed reactor, was shown to have a positive effect on catalyst performance and as such also is catalytically active. The best performance in terms of higher alcohol yield (8.5%) obtained in this work ranks in the top three of reports on CO2 hydrogenation to higher alcohols in a continuous setup. Moreover, light olefins with 20.3% selectivity (6.0% yield) were coproduced over the optimized catalyst, which has a positive effect on the economic potential of the catalysts.