Catalytic Chemistry of Dimethoxymethane: Carbonylation, Steam Reforming and Partial Oxidation
In recent years, dimethoxymethane (DMM) has attracted a growing interest as an ecologically benign raw material with a wide scope of applications. DMM, as well as methanol and dimethyl ether is an easy to synthesize oxygenated compound of C1 chemistry. It is worth emphasizing that DMM is a noncorrosive, nontoxic compound. The report discusses the features of catalytic processes for the conversion of DMM into hydrogen/syngas and C2-oxygenates.
The results indicate:
- the possibility of a vapour-phase carbonylation of DMM on a different kind of solid acids. We found that the rate of the reaction increases with the strength of Bronsted acid sites according to the Bronsted-Evans-Polany-Semenov correlation .
- the promise of a steam reforming of DMM to hydrogen-rich gas for fuel cell feeding. Bifunctional CuO–ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst containing on its surface both acidic and copper-based sites is active and selective for DMM steam reforming to hydrogen-rich gas with low (<1 vol.%) CO content. The hydrogen-rich gas can be used for direct feeding of high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HT PEMFC) without any further CO removal .
- the feasibility of syngas production by partial oxidation of DMM using supported noble metal catalysts at low temperature. In particular, Pt/CeO2-ZrO2 catalyst provided complete conversion of DMM with high syngas production rate at GHSV = 10000 h-1 and T = 400 °C showing high promises for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) .
Of course, the use of DMM as a raw material for the production of other products is at an early stage. Further research is needed in this field.