Structured microreactor with gold and palladium on titania: Active, regenerable and durable catalyst coatings for the gas-phase partial oxidation of 1-butanol

Yaseen Khan (Corresponding Author), Minna Marin, Tiia Viinikainen, Juha Lehtonen, Riikka L. Puurunen, Reetta Karinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Structured microreactors coated with catalytically active porous layers have emerged as a promising replacement for conventional reactors because they are inherently safe to operate in nearly isothermal conditions within the kinetic regime. Bio-based 1-butanol is commonly produced by acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation and is considered an important platform chemical that will benefit in the share of value-added chemicals through the development of new catalytic processes. In this study, monometallic gold (Au) and palladium (Pd), as well as bimetallic Au-Pd nanoparticles, supported on titania (TiO2) were prepared by a sol-immobilization method, characterized, coated on structured microreactor plates and tested for their catalytic activity in the gas-phase partial oxidation of 1-butanol to n-butyraldehyde. A customized structured catalyst testing microreactor was used. The average noble metal particle size for the catalyst coatings was determined to be approximately 3.6 nm for Au and Au-Pd catalysts, and the noble metal nanoparticles were evenly distributed. The catalyst coating was 17 ± 7 μm in thickness. The studied coated catalysts (TiO2, Au/TiO2, Pd/TiO2, and Au-Pd/TiO2) were all active for the partial oxidation of 1-butanol. The Au/TiO2 (0.6 wt%) catalyst showed the highest yield (20%) of n-butyraldehyde at 300 °C. The introduction of Pd onto Au/TiO2 or TiO2 shifted the product distribution at 250 °C towards retro-hydroformylation and oxidation products (propene, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide). All of the coated catalysts that were tested were mechanically stable. The nano Au/TiO2 could be regenerated in situ and showed reproducible activities and yields in over 50 test runs. Structured microreactors coated with gold nanoparticles supported on titania show promise as a reusable and mechanically stable device for the process development of n-butyraldehyde production in ABE fermentation plants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)173-183
    Number of pages11
    JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Bio 1-butanol
    • Coated microreactors
    • Heterogeneous catalyst
    • n-Butyraldehyde
    • Nanogold
    • Partial oxidation
    • Titania


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