Titanium-doped alumina for catalytic dehydration of methanol to dimethyl ether at relatively low temperatures

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Mesoporous Al-Ti oxide composites with molar %Ti of 3, 5, 10, and 20 as well as pure γ-alumina were prepared using a template-free sol-gel method in the absence of a catalyst. The prepared composites were characterized by powder XRD, FTIR spectroscopy and N2 adsorption for BET surface area and porosity measurements. The composites and the pure alumina possessed relatively high surface areas, 350-410 m2/g, and high porosities after calcination at 500 °C. FTIR spectroscopy was employed to study the products of the catalytic dehydration of methanol to dimethyl ether, DME, over the prepared catalysts at reaction temperatures between 180 and 300 °C. Compared with pure γ-alumina, the Ti-modified alumina with %Ti < 10 showed higher catalytic activity in the methanol dehydration and better selectivity to DME. Composites with %Ti of 3 and 5 showed the highest activity at relatively lower temperatures than the other catalysts where they showed their highest activity at 190 and 200 °C, respectively. The activity of all studied catalysts slightly decreased as the temperature was raised to 300 °C and dropped considerably when the temperature was decreased to 180 °C. However, the activity of Al-Ti-3 dropped only slightly at both temperatures. The selectivity to DME was dependent on the reaction temperature where 100% DME selectivity was obtained at temperatures ≤220 °C and as the temperature was raised to 300 °C, some CH4 and CO2 formed on the account of DME.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2422-2427
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Dehydration
  • Dimethyl ether
  • Methanol conversion
  • Titanium-aluminum oxides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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