Temperature-dependent Study of Isobutanol Decomposition

Report No. ARL-TR-6258
Authors: Jonathan E. Mitchell and Ivan C. Lee
Date/Pages: November 2012; 22 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this work is to identify surface intermediates during the catalytic oxidation of isobutanol in a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) reaction chamber at various temperatures and equivalence ratios (Φ). This was achieved by collecting infrared spectra of surface species and locating peaks that would characterize the presence of these intermediates and products, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), olefins, and aldehydes. The reaction was studied using ϒ-Al2O3, Rh/Al2O3, and Pd/Al2O3 powders as catalysts at temperatures from 100—500 °C over three equivalence ratios: 0.1718, 1.4248, and 3.501. By comparing the ratio of the intensity of the CH peak representative of isobutanol to the intensity of the C=O peak representative of aldehydes, it is possible to elucidate a trend in the activation of aldehyde formation from isobutanol. The results show that increasing temperature promotes aldehyde formation on the surface of each catalyst. In addition, it is shown that palladium (Pd) activates the formation of aldehydes and CO2 at a lower temperature than a rhodium (Rh) catalyst.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2012