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H-FER-Catalysed conversion of methanol to ethanol and dimethyl ether: a first-principles DFT study

Botchway, Cecil H., Tia, Richard, Evans, Adei, Dzade, Nelson Y. and de Leeuw, Nora 2021. H-FER-Catalysed conversion of methanol to ethanol and dimethyl ether: a first-principles DFT study. South African Journal of Chemistry 71 (1) , pp. 30-35. 10520/ejc-chem-v74-nse1-a6

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Methanol adsorption and dehydration reactions within zeolites represent important steps in the catalytic conversion process to form long-chain hydrocarbons. Herein, first-principles density functional theory (DFT) is employed in the determination of methanol adsorption and conversion in ferrierite (FER), where we predict the fundamental adsorption geometries and energetics of methanol adsorption. The methanol molecule is shown to physisorb at all explored binding sites, stabilized through hydrogen-bonded interactions with the acid site atOmeth—Hfram bond distances ranging from1.33–1.51 Å.We demonstrate that the zeolites’ adsorption capability is affected by the silicon/aluminium ratio, with stronger adsorptions predicted in the material with silicon to aluminium fractions of 5 than 8. The adsorption strength is also found to vary depending on the tetrahedral binding site, with the T1O2 site yielding the most stable methanol adsorption structure in the Si/Al ratio = 5 (Eads=–22.5 kcal mol–1), whereas the T1O1 site yields the most stable adsorption geometry (Eads = –19.2 kcal mol–1) in the Si/Al ratio = 8. Upon translational and rotational motion, methanol is protonated resulting in the breaking of itsC-Obond to forma methoxy species bound to the framework oxygen (O–CH3 distance of 1.37 Å), whereas the water molecule is stabilized at the acid site through H-bonding (Owat-H = 2.0 Å). Further reaction between the methoxy species and a second methanol molecule results in the formation of ethanol and protonated dimethyl ether, with adsorption energies of –42 and –25 kcal mol–1, respectively. The results in this study provide atomistic insight into the effect of acidity of the FER zeolite on the adsorption and conversion of methanol.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Additional Information: All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License
ISSN: 0379-4350
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 9 September 2020
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2021 19:24

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