Bureau of Mines research into the use of intermetallic compounds as catalytic materials has shown catalysts prepared from binary alloys of copper and thorium to be active for the synthesis of methanol from carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Activation of the alloys resulted in oxidation of the thorium yielding high surface area catalysts containing copper interspersed on thoria. For example, catalysts prepared from thcux alloys by air oxidation at 400 deg. C had surface areas as high as 35 m2/g and produced up to 6.7 Times as much methanol as a traditional cu/zno/al2o3 catalyst from 16 h2:co synthesis gas in a continuous-flow microreactor at 280 deg c and 60 atm pressure. Standard inlet space velocity was 31,000 h-1.
Issue of Publication
I&ec Prod. Res. and Dev., V. 20, No. 1, March 1981, PP. 87-90
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