Employing Synthesized MgO-SiO2 Nanoparticles as Catalysts in Ethanol Conversion to 1,3-Butadiene

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Petrochemical Techniques, Technical Institute-Kut, Middle Technical University, Baghdad, Iraq

2 3Department of Chemistry, Wasit University, Kut, Wasit, Iraq

3 Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Industries Department, Al-Mustaqbal University College, Babel, Iraq

4 Department of Medical Laboratory Technique, Dijlah University College, Iraq

5 Kut University Collage, Al Kut, Wasit, Iraq

6 ‎Al-Turath University College

7 Islamic University Centre for Scientific Research, The Islamic University, Najaf, Iraq

8 Osol Aldeen University College, Baghdad, Iraq


   MgO-SiO2 nanoparticle catalyst was prepared, characterized, and evaluated in a fixed-bed reactor for ethanol conversion to 1,3 butadiene (BD) process (ETB). The prepared catalyst was characterized by XRD, XPS, SEM, TEM, EDS, and BET techniques. The data obtained from the surface and bulk characterizations of the prepared catalyst was used to correlate the catalyst morphology and surface chemistry to its performance in ETB. This work investigates the effect of temperature, Hourly space velocity, and water content on ethanol conversion and product selectivity. In addition, MgO-SiO2 pellets with size of 500 µm was prepared and applied into the process to evaluate the impact of the catalyst’s particle size on its efficiency. The catalyst stability was investigated at the optimum reaction conditions for ten hours of the reaction. 1,3-butadiene selectivity of as high as 60% is achieved at the optimum reaction temperature of 400 oC. This high selectivity was attributed to the catalyst’s high surface area and surface functional groups. Increasing the reaction temperature increases the rate of ethylene formation and, therefore, the selectivity for acetaldehyde decreases. Increasing the feed flow rate inhibits the formation of BD and increases the acetaldehyde selectivity. The presence of water was found to be a reducer agent to the BD selectivity due to its emphasis on acetone formation. This work investigated the impact of reducing the MgO-SiO2 catalyst particle size to the nanoscale and provides insightful information about the correlation MgO-SiO2 catalyst properties with its performance in converting ethanol to BD.


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