This investigation focused on developing an environmentally benign approach to synthesis of nanostructured Cu/SiO2 catalysts for hydrogenation of dimethyl oxalate (DMO) to ethylene glycol (EG). It was accomplished by using (NH4)2CO3, instead of the conventional ammonia evaporation method, for making nanostructured Cu/SiO2 exhibiting good performance for DMO conversion and EG selectivity in the desired temperature range, with increased temperature stability. The resulting catalysts were characterized for catalytic activity, optimal reaction temperature, specific surface area, crystalline structure, surface composition and the influence of sodium in support raw material. The new method generated active catalysts with improved thermal stability linked to better dimension control and more Cu2O content, together with improved morphology of the supported copper particles.
Popa, T., Zhang, Y., Jin, E., & Fan, M. (2015). An environmentally benign and low-cost approach to synthesis of thermally stable industrial catalyst Cu/SiO2 for the hydrogenation of dimethyl oxalate to ethylene glycol. Applied Catalysis A: General, 505, 52–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcata.2015.07.026