In situ hydrogenation and decarboxylation of oleic acid into heptadecane over a Cu–Ni alloy catalyst using methanol as a hydrogen carrier†
In this work, supported Cu–Ni bimetallic catalysts were synthesized and evaluated for the in situ hydrogenation and decarboxylation of oleic acid using methanol as a hydrogen donor. The supported Cu–Ni alloy exhibited a significant improvement in both activity and selectivity towards the production of heptadecane in comparison with monometallic Cu and Ni based catalysts. The formation of the Cu–Ni alloy is demonstrated by high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HADDF-STEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS-mapping), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and temperature programmed reduction (TPR). A partially oxidized Cu in the Cu–Ni alloy is revealed by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) following CO adsorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The temperature programmed desorption of ethylene and propane (ethylene/propane-TPD) suggested that the formation of the Cu–Ni alloy inhibited the cracking of C–C bonds compared to Ni, and remarkably increased the selectivity to heptadecane. The temperature programmed desorption of acetic acid (acetic acid-TPD) indicated that the bimetallic Cu–Ni alloy and Ni catalysts had a stronger adsorption of acetic acid than that of the Cu catalyst. The formation of the Cu–Ni alloy and a partially oxidized Cu facilitates the decarboxylation reaction and inhibits the cracking reaction of C–C bonds, leading to enhanced catalytic activity and selectivity.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 7th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress – Molecular frontiers and global challenges