Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis

, Volume 124, Issue 2, pp 503–522 | Cite as

A study of ethanol conversion over zinc aluminate catalyst

  • Gabriella Garbarino
  • Paola Riani
  • María Villa García
  • Elisabetta Finocchio
  • Vicente Sánchez Escribano
  • Guido BuscaEmail author


The conversion of ethanol over a commercial ZnAl2O4 has been investigated. The catalyst has been fully characterized by XRD, IR, UV–Vis-NIR, ICP-OES, EDX-FE-SEM, BET and porosimetry. The catalyst is active in converting ethanol. At low conversion, diethyl ether is the main product while at higher conversions acetaldehyde is the main product (max yield ~ 50%). Ethylene and ethyl acetate are coproduced. Acetone and propylene become relevant products at complete conversion. The mechanism of formation of the products is discussed based on infrared surface chemical data, thermodynamic and kinetic data. Two independent catalytic sites exist, one for dehydration, the other for dehydrogenation, similar to those of Zinc oxide, giving rise to two parallel reaction sequencies. Criteria for developing selective catalysts towards dehydrogenation products are briefly discussed.


Zinc aluminate Ethanol conversion Acetaldehyde Ethylene Diethylether Acido-basicity 



The authors would like to acknowledge Antonio Bacigalupo and Michele Pastorino for performing the catalytic tests during their Bachelor’s thesis.

Supplementary material

11144_2018_1395_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1638 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio di Chimica delle superfici e catalisi, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Chimica e Ambientale (DICCA)Università degli Studi di GenovaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di FarmaciaUniversità degli Studi di GenovaGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Departamento de Química InorgánicaUniversidad de SalamancaSalamancaSpain

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