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Synthesis of ethanol via a reaction of dimethyl ether with CO₂ and H₂
- Qian, Qingli, Cui, Meng, Zhang, Jingjing, Xiang, Junfeng, Song, Jinliang, Yang, Guanying, Han, Buxing
- Green chemistry 2018 v.20 no.1 pp. 206-213
- carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, catalysts, ethanol, ethylene, fermentation, foods, green chemistry, hydrogen, liquids, reaction mechanisms, selectivity (chemistry), solvents
- Ethanol is currently produced via the catalytic hydration of ethylene or fermentation of foods. The synthesis of ethanol from cheap and renewable CO₂ is of great importance, but the state of the art routes encounter difficulties, especially in reaction selectivity and activity. Here we show a strategy of ethanol synthesis from CO₂, dimethyl ether (DME) and H₂. The reaction can be effectively promoted with a Ru–Co bimetallic catalyst using LiI as a promoter in 1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone (DMI) solvent. The predominant product of this reaction was ethanol and the selectivity of ethanol in total products could reach 71.7 C-mol%. The selectivity of ethanol in the liquid product could reach 94.1%, which was higher than the reported routes using CO₂/CO. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work on ethanol synthesis from DME, CO₂ and H₂. The reaction mechanism is discussed based on a series of control experiments.