Selective decomposition of isopropanol using as prepared and oxidized graphite nanofibers.

Three types of as prepared and treated graphite nanofibers (GNFs) were used as catalysts in the decomposition of isopropanol to propene and acetone in the presence of oxygen to evaluate the surface chemistry of the fibers. As prepared herringbone fibers were found to produce higher selectivity for propene compared to the as prepared platelet and ribbon fibers at all temperatures explored. Herringbone fibers that had undergone oxidative treatment with nitric acid, phosphoric acid, ruthenium tetroxide or potassium permanganate were also evaluated at a 290 degreesC. Effects of oxidation treatments on fiber structure were evaluated using a host of analytical techniques including BET, SEM/EDS, TGA, XPS, and fluorescence labeling of surface species. Selectivity for acetone dehydrogenation product or propene dehydration product could be achieved by the appropriate surface treatment. Nitric acid was the mildest treatment and the treated fibers showed minimal changes. (Potassium permanganate was a harsh treatment that almost completely degraded fiber structure, creating amorphous carbon.) Phosphoric acid treated fibers were found to produce very high conversions and almost pure selectivity for propene. Ruthenium tetroxide did not appear to have a large affect on fiber morphology; however, selectivity for acetone was much higher when GNFs were treated with ruthenium tetroxide.

Main Author: Ferens, Andrew.
Other Authors: Weinstein, Randy., Giuliano, Robert., Hull, John.
Language: English
Published: 2011
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