Nanoporous NiP Evolutionarily Structured onto a Ni Foam for Highly Selective Hydrogenation of Dimethyl Oxalate to Methyl Glycolate.

Author(s) Zhu, J.; Cao, L.; Li, C.; Zhao, G.; Zhu, T.; Hu, W.; Sun, W.; Lu, Y.
Journal ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
Date Published 2019 Oct 01

Methyl glycolate (MG) is a versatile platform molecule to produce numerous important chemicals and materials, especially new-generation biocompatible and biodegradable poly(glycolic acid). In principle, it can be massively produced from syngas (CO + H) via gas-phase hydrogenation of CO-derived dimethyl oxalate (DMO), but the groundbreaking catalyst represents a grand challenge. Here, we report the discovery of a Ni-foam-structured nanoporous NiP catalyst, evolutionarily transformed from a NiP/Ni-foam engineered from nano- to macro-scale, being capable of nearly fully converting DMO into MG at >95% selectivity and stable for at least 1000 h without any sign of deactivation. As revealed by kinetic experiments and theoretical calculations, in comparison with NiP, NiP achieves a higher surface electron density that is favorable for MG adsorption in a molecular manner rather than in a dissociative manner and has much higher activation energy for MG hydrogenation to ethylene glycol (EG), thereby markedly suppressing its overhydrogenation to EG.

DOI 10.1021/acsami.9b11703
ISSN 1944-8252
Citation ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019.

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