Details

Project TitleA Low-Temperature, Energy Neutral Process for Preparing Formaldehyde from Neat or Aqueous Methanol
Track Code2015-173
Short Description

A heterogeneous catalytic system for base- and additive-free alcohol reforming that operates at high turnover frequencies under mild conditions with an inexpensive, supported Mo-oxo catalyst that is air- and moisture-stable

Abstract

Northwestern researchers have developed a heterogeneous catalytic system for base- and additive-free alcohol reforming that operates at high turnover frequencies under mild conditions (40-90 °C and 1 atm) with an inexpensive, supported Mo-oxo catalyst that is air- and moisture-stable (see Figure 1). This system is active for aqueous alcohols (up to 90% v/v H2O), exhibits no deactivation over days under these conditions, and is selective towards valuable aldehydes with negligible production of greenhouse gases or fuel cell poisons (CO or CO2), conforming to requirements for formaldehyde production and direct alcohol fuel-cell applications. Turn-over frequencies at current reaction conditions exceed 24,000 h-1 for neat methanol feedstocks, and continuous heating of the catalyst system in 20:80 MeOH:H2O at 90 °C over 5 days shows no decline in catalytic activity, validating the robustness of the catalyst under these operating conditions.

Figure 1.  Proposed catalytic cycle for alcohol dehydrogenation

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT

Optimization of continuous flow reaction system is underway. A trickle bed reactor is built with an in-line GC installed for multi gram-scale testing. The new reactor system is scaled-up from the mg-scale, benchtop, semi-batch reactor system previously reported.

 
TagsCHEMICAL: catalyst, CHEMICAL: methods, MATERIALS: manufacturing
 
Posted DateAug 7, 2017 4:43 PM

Inventor(s)

Tobin Marks*

Peter Stair

Tracy Lohr

Massimiliano Delferro

Aidan R. Mouat

Applications

  • Formaldehyde, acetaldehyde production
  • Biomass, bio-alcohol reforming

Advantages

  • Low operating temperatures (40-90 °C)
  • High TOFs (exceeding 24,000 h-1)
  • Catalyst is air- and moisture- stable
  • Little-to-no greenhouse gas co-products

IP status

Utility (15/487,017) and PCT (US2017/027430) applications have been filed.

Publications

Marketing Contact

Zachary Brown, PhD

Invention Manager

(t) 847.491.4629

(e) zachary.brown@northwestern.edu

Files

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