Effect of water on Cu/Zn catalyst for hydrogenation of fatty methyl ester to fatty alcohol

Research paper by Hui Huang, Guiping Cao, Chunling Fan, Shaohong Wang, Shujia Wang

Indexed on: 16 Feb '10Published on: 16 Feb '10Published in: The Korean journal of chemical engineering


The effect of water on Cu/Zn catalyst prepared by co-precipitation for hydrogenation of methyl laurate in a slurry phase was studied using a stirred autoclave reactor system. The catalysts were characterized by means of XRD, BET, H2-TPR, SEM and TEM. The results indicate that catalytic activity decreases with increased amount of water in methyl laurate. Correlating with the results from the above characterization, it is found that the main causes for the water deactivation of the Cu/Zn catalyst were the water occlusion of active catalyst sites by the low solubility of water in the substrate and the promotion of crystal growth, as well as the Cu/Zn catalyst agglomeration in the presence of water.