Journal: Chemical Communications
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Planting seeds for renewable chemical production
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Combining two catalysts into a single material could enable the environmentally friendly production of a key chemical feedstock.
Ethylene is an essential feedstock for products including plastics and textiles, but is typically made from fossil-fuel resources. A more sustainable approach could be to make it from renewable resources, such as bio-ethanol.
Passing ethanol over a solid acid catalyst can convert ethanol into ethylene via a dehydration reaction. However, catalyst materials called zeolites can suffer deactivation due to a build-up of carbon over the catalyst surface, caused by their high acidity. An alternative catalyst, cerium oxide, has proven to be not acidic enough to efficiently drive the reaction.
By combining the two materials through incorporating cerium oxide into a hierarchically structured zeolite, Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology researchers succeeded in fine-tuning the acidity and chemical state of the catalyst. The combination catalyst converted ethanol into ethylene with a yield close to 100%.
- Chemical Communications 56, 11394–11397 (2020). doi: 10.1039/d0cc04886k
|Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), Thailand||0.86|
|Synchrotron Light Research Institute, Thailand||0.14|