Carbon dioxide hydrogenation to oxygenates (methanol and dimethyl ether (DME)) was investigated over bifunctional supported copper catalysts promoted with gallium (Ga). Supported Cu-Ga nanocomposite catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and H2 temperature programmed reduction. In comparison with Cu-SBA-15 based catalysts, Ga promoted catalysts prepared by the urea deposition method (CuGa/SBA-15-UDP) was found active and selective for CO2 hydrogenation to oxygenates. The use of Ga as the promoter showed increased acidic sites as confirmed by the NH3-TPD, Pyridine-IR and 2,6-lutidine-IR studies. The favorable effect of Ga on CO2 conversion and selectivity to oxygenate may come from the strong interaction of Ga with silica, which is responsible for the enhanced metal surface area, formation of nanocomposite and metal dispersion. Notably, incorporation of Ga to Cu/SiO2 showed a several-fold higher rate for methanol formation (13.12 mol/gCu·sec) with a reasonable rate for the DME formation (2.15 mol/gCu·sec) as compared to those of Cu/SiO2 catalysts.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We are grateful for the financial support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and a SABIC Chair Professorship to K.-W.H.