Size dependant catalytic behaviour of supported Cu nanoparticles on CeO2 in ethanol synthesis from methyl acetate

Ethanol is a versatile feedstock that is extremely beneficial. A new route of EtOH synthesis from syngas via dimethyl ether carbonylation and methyl acetate hydrogenation has been proposed. This is environmentally friendly and efficient. Throughout this research, the relationship between the nature of MA activation and the size of the supported Cu nanoparticles will be analyzed, in order to illuminate the size effect of Cu/CeO2 catalysts on catalytic properties in ester hydrogenation reactions. In this lab CuCl and dimethyl sulfoxide are used to prepare different CuOx nanoparticles. The reactivity evaluations will be carried out on a continuous-flow heterogeneous reactor and analyzed on an online Agilent Micro GC 6820. The textual and catalytic properties of the catalysts are also analyzed. With this data there may be a proof of adsorption or activation of methoxy and acyl species on the surface of CeO2. Overall the goal is to find the induction period in the beginning of the reaction which could be dependent on the size of Cu nanoparticles.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jesse Zhu


Kelsey Crawford



Engineering - chemical / biological



Western University


Globalink Research Award

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