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Study On the Method of Chemical Trapping for Formyl Intermediates

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The method of chemical trapping for formyl intermediates has been studied, with syngas conversion to ethanol over rhodium-based catalysts as the diagnostic reaction concerned, and CH3I as the trapping reagent. Two species of acetaldehyde, i.e., CH3CHO and CH3CDO, were produced in the trapping reaction following CO + 2D2 reaction. It was shown that the formation of CH3CHO in the trapping reaction resulted from dehydrogenation of CH3 from CH3I to give H, which induced the formation of CH3CHO in the presence of CO and CH3 So there may be two pathways for the formation of CH3CDO in the trapping reaction: one, methylation of DCO adspecies; the other, deuteration of CH3CO formed by CO insertion into CH3 The catalyst surface was purged with Ar following CO + 2D2 reaction before the trapping reaction was performed. By means of this modified method of chemical trapping for formyl intermediates, CH3CDO was found to be mainly derived from the methylation of DCO adspecies. Accordingly, it could be concluded that formyl is a C1-intermediate in the syngas conversion to ethanol over rhodium-based catalysts.

Affiliations: 1: The State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of the Solid Surface Department of Chemistry Xiamen University Xiamen 361005, CHINA


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