The catalytic amination of aliphatic alcohols to manufacture alkyl tertiary amines is a promising process. In this paper, novel types of quaternary NiCuMgFe/Al2O3 and NiCuZnFe/Al2O3 catalysts were prepared via co-precipitation method and the performances were contrasted in details. With the optimum molar ratio nNi:nCu:nMg:nFe = 1.25:1:0.3:0.6, NiCuMgFe/Al2O3 catalyst delivered a N-propyldioctylamine (NPDA) yield of 94.3% and good recycling stability. In addition, NiCuMgFe/Al2O3 catalyst displayed the universality for several other types of alkyl tertiary amines. The characterizations of XRD, Raman, UV–vis-DR, XPS and H2-TPR revealed that obvious synergistic effect between the promoters Mg and Fe occurred, and they significantly improved both the percentage of Cu0 species and the dispersion of NiO active sites. As a result, the hydrogenation and dehydrogenation abilities of NiCuMgFe/Al2O3 catalyst were balanced towards a high conversion of alcohol and a high selectivity to tertiary amines.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21676303, 21506259) and the Project supported by the Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Plan, China (No. 2016TP1007).