Synergistic Interaction between Oxides of Copper and Iron for Production of Fatty Alcohols from Fatty Acids
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The selective hydrogenation of fatty acids to fatty alcohols can be achieved under moderate conditions (180 °C, 30 bar H2) by simultaneously supporting copper and iron oxides on mesoporous silica nanoparticles. The activity of the cosupported oxides is significantly higher than that of each supported metal oxide and of a physical mixture of both individually supported metal oxides. A strong interaction between both metal oxides is evident from dispersion, XRD, TPR, and acetic acid TPD measurements, which is likely responsible for the synergistic behavior of the catalyst. Copper oxide is reduced in situ to its metallic form and thereby activates hydrogen. It is proposed that hydrogen spills over to iron oxide where fatty acids bind and are selectively reduced to the alcohol.
Reprinted (adapted) with permission from ACS Catalysis 5 (2015): 6719, doi:10.1021/acscatal.5b01664. Copyright 2015 American Chemical Society.