Catalytic dehydration of ethanol to ethylene and diethyl ether over alumina catalysts containing different phases with boron modification

  • Ekrachan Chaichana
  • Nopparat Boonsinvarothai
  • Nithinart Chitpong
  • Bunjerd JongsomjitEmail author


The catalytic ethanol dehydration of ethanol over the solvothermal-derived alumina catalysts was investigated in this study. First, alumina catalysts were synthesized by the solvothermal methods to obtain three different phase composition of alumina catalysts including γ-phase (G–Al), χ-phase (C–Al) and equally mixed χ–γ phases (M–Al). Then, all catalysts were modified with boron (G–Al–B, C–Al–B and M–Al–B). It was found that the boron modification increased the amounts of total acid sites and the ratio of weak to strong acid sites (WSR). The catalytic activity and product selectivity of six catalysts via catalytic ethanol dehydration at 200, 300, and 400 °C were measured. For all catalysts, it revealed that ethanol conversion increased with increased temperatures from 200 to 400 °C. At 200–300 °C, the unmodified catalysts tended to exhibit the higher catalytic activity than the boron-modified catalysts. However, at high temperature (400 °C), the boron modification tended to increase the catalytic activity, especially for the M–Al–B catalyst (complete ethanol conversion at 400 °C). Considering ethylene production, the M–Al–B exhibited the highest ethylene yield among other catalysts with 92% at 400 °C. For diethyl ether, it was observed that the M–Al catalyst gave the highest diethyl ether yield of 57% at 300 °C. This is because the boron modification increased the amounts of total acid sites, which can promote the production of ethylene, while this is not preferable for diethyl ether production, which is favored by weak acid sites.


Alumina catalysts Boron modification Ethanol dehydration Ethylene Diethyl ether 



The authors thank the Grant for International Research Integration: Chula Research Scholar, Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund for financial support of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ekrachan Chaichana
    • 1
  • Nopparat Boonsinvarothai
    • 2
  • Nithinart Chitpong
    • 3
  • Bunjerd Jongsomjit
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Center of Natural Materials and Products, Chemistry Program, Faculty of Science and TechnologyNakhon Pathom Rajabhat UniversityMuangThailand
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering, Center of Excellence on Catalysis and Catalytic Reaction Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Department of Textile Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringRajamangala University of Technology ThanyaburiKhlong HokThailand

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