Authors: Lopez-Olmos, C; Morales, MV; Guerrero-Ruiz, A; Ramirez-Barria, C; Asedegbega-Nieto, E; Rodriguez-Ramos, I

ChemSusChem. vol: 11. page: 1864-5631.
Date: oct-11. 2018.
Doi: 10.1002/cssc.201801381.

The condensation of ethanol to 1-butanol in the presence of different catalyst systems based on a Pd dehydrogenating/hydrogenating component and magnesium hydroxide-derived materials as basic ingredient was studied in a fixed-bed reactor. The metal was incorporated by wetness impregnation, and the resulting material was then reduced in situ with hydrogen at 573 K for 1 h before reaction. The bifunctional catalysts were tested in a fixed-bed reactor operated in the gas phase at 503 K and 50 bar with a stream of helium and ethanol. A bifunctional catalyst supported on a synthetic composite based on Mg and high surface area graphite (HSAG) was also studied. Improved catalytic performance in terms of selectivity towards 1-butanol and stability was shown by the Pd catalyst supported on the Mg-HSAG composite after thermal treatment in helium at 723 K, presumably due to the compromise between two parameters: adequate size of the Pd nanoparticles and the concentration of strongly basic sites. The results indicate that the optimal density of strongly basic sites is a key aspect in designing superior bifunctional heterogeneous catalyst systems for the condensation of ethanol to 1-butanol..