Mixed Alcohol Synthesis Catalyst Screening

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National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are conducting research to investigate the feasibility of producing mixed alcohols from biomass-derived synthesis gas (syngas). PNNL is tasked with obtaining commercially available or preparing promising mixed-alcohol catalysts and screening them in a laboratory-scale reactor system. Commercially available catalysts and the most promising experimental catalysts are provided to NREL for testing using a slipstream from a pilot-scale biomass gasifier. From the standpoint of producing C2+ alcohols as the major product, it appears that the rhodium catalyst is the best choice in terms of both selectivity and space-time yield (STY). ... continued below

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Gerber, Mark A.; White, James F. & Stevens, Don J. September 3, 2007.

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National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are conducting research to investigate the feasibility of producing mixed alcohols from biomass-derived synthesis gas (syngas). PNNL is tasked with obtaining commercially available or preparing promising mixed-alcohol catalysts and screening them in a laboratory-scale reactor system. Commercially available catalysts and the most promising experimental catalysts are provided to NREL for testing using a slipstream from a pilot-scale biomass gasifier. From the standpoint of producing C2+ alcohols as the major product, it appears that the rhodium catalyst is the best choice in terms of both selectivity and space-time yield (STY). However, unless the rhodium catalyst can be improved to provide minimally acceptable STYs for commercial operation, mixed alcohol synthesis will involve significant production of other liquid coproducts. The modified Fischer-Tropsch catalyst shows the most promise for providing both an acceptable selectivity to C2+ alcohols and total liquid STY. However, further optimization of the Fischer-Tropsch catalysts to improve selectivity to higher alcohols is highly desired. Selection of a preferred catalyst will likely entail a decision on the preferred coproduct slate. No other catalysts tested appear amenable to the significant improvements needed for acceptable STYs.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-16763
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/926119 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 926119
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895298

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Creation Date

  • September 3, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 1:28 p.m.

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Gerber, Mark A.; White, James F. & Stevens, Don J. Mixed Alcohol Synthesis Catalyst Screening, report, September 3, 2007; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895298/: accessed June 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.