Integrated Conversion of 1-Butanol to 1,3-Butadiene

Jacob Kruger, Tao Dong, Gregg Beckham, Mary Biddy

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10 Scopus Citations


Renewed interest in production of 1,3-butadiene from non-petroleum sources has motivated research into novel production routes. In this study, we investigated an integrated process comprising 1-butanol dehydration over a γ-Al2O3 catalyst to produce a mixture of linear butenes, coupled with a downstream K-doped Cr2O3/Al2O3 catalyst to convert the butenes into butadiene. Linear butene yields greater than 90% are achievable at 360 °C in the dehydration step, and single-pass 1,3-butadiene yields greater than 40% are achieved from 1-butene in a N2 atmosphere in the dehydrogenation step. In the integrated process, 1,3-butadiene yields are 10-15%. In all cases, linear C4 selectivity is greater than 90%, suggesting that 1,3-butadiene yields could be significantly improved in a recycle reactor. Doping the Cr2O3 catalyst with different metals to promote H2 consumption in a CO2 atmosphere did not have a large effect on catalyst performance compared to an undoped Cr2O3 catalyst, although doping with K in an N2-diluted atmosphere and with Ni in a CO2-enriched atmosphere showed slight improvement. In contrast, doping with K and Ca in a CO2-enriched atmosphere showed slightly decreased performance. Similarly, employing a CO2-enriched atmosphere in general did not improve 1,3-butadiene yield or selectivity compared to reactions performed in N2. Overall, this study suggests that an integrated dehydration/dehydrogenation process to convert 1-butanol into 1,3-butadiene could be feasible with further catalyst and process development.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)24068-24074
Number of pages7
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-71976


  • alumina
  • aluminum oxide
  • butenes
  • carbon dioxide
  • catalysts
  • dehydration


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