Mercury-free nitrogen-doped activated carbon catalyst: an efficient catalyst for the catalytic coupling reaction of acetylene and ethylene dichloride to synthesize the vinyl chloride monomer
The global “Minamata Convention on Mercury” came into effect in 2017 exerting huge environmental pressure on acetylene-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) processes. Research and development of mercury-free catalytic synthesis technologies for the entire PVC industry and even the sustainable development of the chlor-alkali industry are of great significance. Here, we report the catalyzed coupling reaction of acetylene and ethylene dichloride to synthesize vinyl chloride over a mercury-free, nitrogen-doped activated carbon catalyst (N@AC). The catalyst delivered stable performance with an ethylene dichloride conversion over 95%, acetylene conversion at ∼90%, and selectivity for vinyl chloride over 98% at 260 °C. Both X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data and catalytic activity of the catalysts revealed pyridinic N to be the active site. The results of this study show that the catalytic coupling reaction of acetylene and ethylene dichloride to synthesize vinyl chloride over a N@AC catalyst has a very attractive prospect in the PVC industry.