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Jennifer Beck

Dipl. Chem. Jennifer Beck

Room No.: 01 039 (FMF)

Telephone: +49 761 203-4733

e-Mail: jennifer.beck@fmf.uni-freiburg.de


Keywords: Catalysis, methanol synthesis, biomethanol



Methanol itself is a toxic compound. Due to this fact a lot of research tends to a beneficiation of methanol to other fuels like dimethyl ether (DME), a non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and noncorrosive compound, which can be used as an excellent alternative to diesel fuel due to its high cetane number and low emissions of CO, NOx and particulates upon its combustion. DME can be manufactured in large quantities from raw materials such as natural gas and coal. The syngas produced as an intermediate from these sources is then converted to methanol, which on dehydration gives DME. DME is originally produced by a two-step process involving the synthesis of methanol from syngas in the first step and the dehydration of methanol in the second. The application of a bifunctional catalyst, which performs both functions in a single-step, has gained considerable importance due to technological and economic advantages of DME production. However, the most interesting reaction pathway is one, which can be combined with methanol synthesis out of carbon dioxide hydrogenation (Fig. 1). This is achievable by adding Lewis acidic γ-Al2O3 to the methanol catalyst, which increases the equilibrium conversion of carbon dioxide (Fig. 2). In my work I try to optimize the single step synthesis of DME from carbon dioxide with a heterogeneous catalyst (Cu/ZnO/ZrO2).
Figure1.png              Figure2.png
Fig. 1: DME process scheme.                                                      Fig. 2: One-step synthesis of MeOH and DME.
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