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New paper in Nat. Commun: Observation of an oxonium ion intermediate in ethanol dehydration to ethene on zeolite

Release time:2019-5-8      Source:admin      Reads:252

 Observation of an oxonium ion intermediate in ethanol dehydration to ethene on zeolite 

Zeolite-catalyzed dehydration of ethanol offers promising perspectives for the sustainable production of ethene. Complex parallel-consecutive pathways are proposed to be involved in the reaction network of ethanol dehydration on zeolites, where the initial step of ethanol dehydration is still unclear particularly for the favorable production of ethene at lower temperature. Here we report the observation of a triethyloxonium ion (TEO) in the dehydration of ethanol on zeolite H-ZSM-5 by using ex situ and in situ solid-state NMR spectroscopy. TEO is identified as a stable surface species on the working catalyst, which shows high reactivity during reaction. Ethylation of the zeolite by TEO occurs at lower temperature, leading to the formation of surface ethoxy species and then ethene. The TEO-ethoxide pathway is found to be energetically preferable for the dehydration of ethanol to ethene in the initial stage, which is also supported by theoretical calculations.

 
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