Catalysis Letters

, Volume 147, Issue 4, pp 865–879 | Cite as

Catalyst Deactivation During One-Step Dimethyl Ether Synthesis from Synthesis Gas

  • Farbod Dadgar
  • Rune Myrstad
  • Peter Pfeifer
  • Anders Holmen
  • Hilde J. Venvik


Catalysts for direct synthesis of dimethyl ether (DME) from synthesis gas should essentially contain two functions, i.e., methanol synthesis and methanol dehydration. In the present work, the deactivation of both functions of hybrid catalysts during direct DME synthesis under industrially relevant conditions has been investigated with special focus on the influence of each reaction step on the deactivation of the catalyst function corresponding to the other step. A physical mixture of a Cu–Zn-based methanol synthesis catalyst and a ZSM-5 methanol dehydration catalyst was used. The metallic catalyst appears to deactivate due to Cu sintering, with no apparent effect from the methanol dehydration step under the conditions applied. The acid catalyst deactivates due to accumulation of hydrocarbon species formed in its pores. Synthesis gas composition, i.e., \(\text{{H}}_{2}\)/CO ratio and \(\text{{CO}}_{2}\)-content (which directly affects partial pressure of water), seems to influence the zeolite deactivation.

Graphical Abstract


DME Methanol synthesis Methanol dehydration Deactivation Hybrid catalyst H-ZSM-5 Cu/ZnO/\(\text{{Al}}_{2}\text{{O}}_{3}\) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farbod Dadgar
    • 1
  • Rune Myrstad
    • 2
  • Peter Pfeifer
    • 3
  • Anders Holmen
    • 1
  • Hilde J. Venvik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.SINTEF Materials and ChemistryTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Institute for Micro Process Engineering (IMVT)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

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