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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 519425, 11 pages
Research Article

A Comparative Study of Solvothermal and Sol-Gel-Derived Nanocrystalline Alumina Catalysts for Ethanol Dehydration

Center of Excellence on Catalysis and Catalytic Reaction Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Received 6 August 2015; Revised 2 November 2015; Accepted 12 November 2015

Academic Editor: Antonios Kelarakis

Copyright © 2015 Mingkwan Wannaborworn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ethanol dehydration to ethylene over alumina catalysts prepared by solvothermal and sol-gel methods was investigated. Also, a commercial alumina was used for comparison purposes. The results showed that the catalytic activity depends on the properties of catalyst derived from different preparation methods and reaction temperature. The alumina synthesized by solvothermal method exhibited the highest activity. This can be attributed to the higher surface area and larger amount of acid site, especially the ratio of weak/strong acid strength as determined by N2 physisorption and NH3-TPD studies. The solvothermal-derived catalyst exhibited an excellent performance with complete ethanol conversion and 100% selectivity to ethylene at 350°C in comparison with other ones. In addition, we further studied the catalytic dehydration of alumina catalyst modified with Fe. The presence of 10 wt.% Fe decreased both conversion and ethylene selectivity. However, the acetaldehyde selectivity apparently increased. It was related to the dehydrogenation pathway that takes place on Fe species.