Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

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Characterization and Development of a Ag/ZrO2/SiO2 Catalyst for the Conversion of Bio-derived Ethanol to Linear Butenes

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Principal Investigator: 
Robert Dagle
Lead Institution: 
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Closed Date: 
Monday, September 30, 2019
Project ID: 

The overall objective of this study is to further investigate a recent catalyst innovation enabling the selective, single step conversion of bio-derived ethanol to 1- and 2-butene (linear butenes). We intend to advance the technology through new catalyst concepts and better understand the mechanism through advanced characterizations. We aim to do this by addressing the following two areas:
1) Perform advanced catalyst characterization of the Ag/ZrO2/SiO2 catalyst to gain fundamental understanding of the catalytic structure thus enabling butene formation. Specifically, in-situ NMR experiments will assist in providing mechanistic insights. Computational simulations using models developed in FY18 will assist with improving catalyst design. Complimentary tools including XRD and HRTEM will provide physio-chemical properties of catalyst before and after reaction.
2) Increasing selectivity to butene formation, and improving catalytic durability are the two catalyst design objectives in FY19. Optimizing Ag metal loading and particle size, and acidity of the catalyst, done in part by adjusting ZrO2, loading are key design variables. Combined experimental and theoretical tools will be utilized to assist with development efforts.