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Influence of Cobalt on Rubidium-Promoted Alumina-Supported Molybdenum Carbide Catalysts for Higher Alcohol Synthesis from Syngas

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Abstract

The influence of Co addition on the activity and selectivity of Rb-promoted Mo2C/α-Al2O3 catalysts in CO hydrogenation was explored. The reaction was performed in a fixed-bed reactor system operating at 573 K, 30 bar, and CO/H2 ratio of 1. Addition of Co enhanced the production rates of hydrocarbons and higher alcohols over Rb-promoted Mo2C/α-Al2O3 by about 60 % without significantly increasing the production rate of methanol, thus shifting the alcohol selectivity toward larger molecules. The addition of Co also lessened the negative impact of CO conversion on oxygenate selectivity over Rb-promoted Mo2C/α-Al2O3. Results from X-ray absorption spectroscopy revealed that highly dispersed Co and Mo domains remained more reduced in the bimetallic carbide samples than the corresponding monometallic samples.

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge financial support from The Dow Chemical Company and helpful discussions with Dr. David Barton and Dr. Gerolamo Budroni at The Dow Chemical Company, and Dr. Pradeep Agrawal, Dr. David Sholl, Dr. Michael Morrill and Mr. Liwei Li at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The authors also acknowledge Dr. Gary Koenig and Ms. Yue Huang at University of Virginia for the use of their glovebox for air-free sample preparation. Use of the NSLS was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-98CH10886. Beamline X18B at the NSLS is supported in part by the Synchrotron Catalysis Consortium, US Department of Energy Grant No. DE-FG02-05ER15688. The authors acknowledge with gratitude the invaluable assistance received from the X-18B beam line personnel, Dr. Nebojsa Marinkovic and Dr. Syed Khalid.

Author information

Correspondence to Robert J. Davis.

Additional information

Kehua Yin and Heng Shou have contributed equally to this work.

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Yin, K., Shou, H., Ferrari, D. et al. Influence of Cobalt on Rubidium-Promoted Alumina-Supported Molybdenum Carbide Catalysts for Higher Alcohol Synthesis from Syngas. Top Catal 56, 1740–1751 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11244-013-0110-6

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Keywords

  • Molybdenum carbide
  • Co promoter
  • Higher alcohol synthesis
  • CO hydrogenation
  • Ethanol
  • Propanol