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Synthesis of ethanol via a reaction of dimethyl ether with CO2 and H2

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Abstract

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.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of ethanol via a reaction of dimethyl ether with CO2 and H2

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Sep 2017, accepted on 24 Oct 2017 and first published on 24 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7GC02807E
Citation: Green Chem., 2017, Advance Article
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    Synthesis of ethanol via a reaction of dimethyl ether with CO2 and H2

    Q. Qian, M. Cui, J. Zhang, J. Xiang, J. Song, G. Yang and B. Han, Green Chem., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7GC02807E

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