Carbon supported Cu nanoparticles have a remarkable selectivity towards the catalytic dehydrogenation of bioethanol to acetaldehyde, which is an interesting alternative to the preparation from ethylene. In this work, we prepared a series of catalysts comprised of Cu nanoparticles supported on N‐doped ordered mesoporous carbons to investigate the catalytic effect of nitrogen content. Our study shows that N‐doping has a significant effect on the dispersion of Cu nanoparticles and that the highest content of N results in the highest activity. Furthermore, we show that the combined effects of strong metal‐support interactions and nano‐confinement is an effective method to prevent thermal and steam induced sintering. In contrast, we find no evidence that N‐doping activates the substrate or change the rate‐determining step. At 260 °C, the best catalyst results in >99% selectivity and a site‐time yield of 175 mol acetaldehyde /mol Cu /h. Under these conditions, the catalysts are stable for more than 12 h using an aqueous solution of 10% ethanol as feed.
Pulikkal Thumbayil, R., Christensen, D. B., Mielby, J. J., & Kegnæs, S. (Accepted/In press). Dehydrogenation of bioethanol using Cu nanoparticles supported on N‐doped ordered mesoporous carbon. ChemCatChem. https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.202000883