skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Catalytic Synthesis of Oxygenates: Mechanisms, Catalysts and Controlling Characteristics

Abstract

This research focused on catalytic synthesis of unsymmetrical ethers as a part of a larger program involving oxygenated products in general, including alcohols, ethers, esters, carboxylic acids and their derivatives that link together environmentally compliant fuels, monomers, and high-value chemicals. The catalysts studied here were solid acids possessing strong Brnsted acid functionalities. The design of these catalysts involved anchoring the acid groups onto inorganic oxides, e.g. surface-grafted acid groups on zirconia, and a new class of mesoporous solid acids, i.e. propylsulfonic acid-derivatized SBA-15. The former catalysts consisted of a high surface concentration of sulfate groups on stable zirconia catalysts. The latter catalyst consists of high surface area, large pore propylsulfonic acid-derivatized silicas, specifically SBA-15. In both cases, the catalyst design and synthesis yielded high concentrations of acid sites in close proximity to one another. These materials have been well-characterization in terms of physical and chemical properties, as well as in regard to surface and bulk characteristics. Both types of catalysts were shown to exhibit high catalytic performance with respect to both activity and selectivity for the bifunctional coupling of alcohols to form ethers, which proceeds via an efficient SN2 reaction mechanism on the proximal acid sites. This commonality of themore » dual-site SN2 reaction mechanism over acid catalysts provides for maximum reaction rates and control of selectivity by reaction conditions, i.e. pressure, temperature, and reactant concentrations. This research provides the scientific groundwork for synthesis of ethers for energy applications. The synthesized environmentally acceptable ethers, in part derived from natural gas via alcohol intermediates, exhibit high cetane properties, e.g. methylisobutylether with cetane No. of 53 and dimethylether with cetane No. of 55-60, or high octane properties, e.g. diisopropylether with blending octane No. of 105, and can replace aromatics in liquid fuels.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lehigh University
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Energy Research (ER)
OSTI Identifier:
860951
Report Number(s):
DOE/ER/15181-F
TRN: US200721%%725
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-01ER15181
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
10 SYNTHETIC FUELS; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ALCOHOLS; AROMATICS; BROENSTED ACIDS; CARBOXYLIC ACIDS; CATALYSTS; CHEMICAL PROPERTIES; ESTERS; ETHERS; FASTENING; LIQUID FUELS; MONOMERS; NATURAL GAS; OCTANE; OXIDES; REACTION KINETICS; SULFATES; SURFACE AREA; SYNTHESIS; Alcohols, Ethers, Alternative Fuels, Catalysis, Catalysts, Catalytic Processes, Fossil Energy, Chemical Transformations

Citation Formats

Klier, Kamil, and Herman, Richard G. Catalytic Synthesis of Oxygenates: Mechanisms, Catalysts and Controlling Characteristics. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/860951.
Klier, Kamil, & Herman, Richard G. Catalytic Synthesis of Oxygenates: Mechanisms, Catalysts and Controlling Characteristics. United States. doi:10.2172/860951.
Klier, Kamil, and Herman, Richard G. Wed . "Catalytic Synthesis of Oxygenates: Mechanisms, Catalysts and Controlling Characteristics". United States. doi:10.2172/860951. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/860951.
@article{osti_860951,
title = {Catalytic Synthesis of Oxygenates: Mechanisms, Catalysts and Controlling Characteristics},
author = {Klier, Kamil and Herman, Richard G},
abstractNote = {This research focused on catalytic synthesis of unsymmetrical ethers as a part of a larger program involving oxygenated products in general, including alcohols, ethers, esters, carboxylic acids and their derivatives that link together environmentally compliant fuels, monomers, and high-value chemicals. The catalysts studied here were solid acids possessing strong Brnsted acid functionalities. The design of these catalysts involved anchoring the acid groups onto inorganic oxides, e.g. surface-grafted acid groups on zirconia, and a new class of mesoporous solid acids, i.e. propylsulfonic acid-derivatized SBA-15. The former catalysts consisted of a high surface concentration of sulfate groups on stable zirconia catalysts. The latter catalyst consists of high surface area, large pore propylsulfonic acid-derivatized silicas, specifically SBA-15. In both cases, the catalyst design and synthesis yielded high concentrations of acid sites in close proximity to one another. These materials have been well-characterization in terms of physical and chemical properties, as well as in regard to surface and bulk characteristics. Both types of catalysts were shown to exhibit high catalytic performance with respect to both activity and selectivity for the bifunctional coupling of alcohols to form ethers, which proceeds via an efficient SN2 reaction mechanism on the proximal acid sites. This commonality of the dual-site SN2 reaction mechanism over acid catalysts provides for maximum reaction rates and control of selectivity by reaction conditions, i.e. pressure, temperature, and reactant concentrations. This research provides the scientific groundwork for synthesis of ethers for energy applications. The synthesized environmentally acceptable ethers, in part derived from natural gas via alcohol intermediates, exhibit high cetane properties, e.g. methylisobutylether with cetane No. of 53 and dimethylether with cetane No. of 55-60, or high octane properties, e.g. diisopropylether with blending octane No. of 105, and can replace aromatics in liquid fuels.},
doi = {10.2172/860951},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Nov 30 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Wed Nov 30 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share: