Catalytic Conversion Liquid Ethanol to Diethyl Ether Using CuO-ZnO/γ-Alumina Catalysts in Batch Reactor

Achmad Chumaidi, Dwina Moentamaria, Nanik Hendrawati


Diethyl Ether is a clear flammable liquid, has a unique odor, has low boiling point (38 C), has low solubility in the water, able to be used as solvent for various organic material and an alternate for fuel. Diethyl Ether can be produced by dehydration reaction of ethanol with sulfuric acid as a catalyst. However, the use of sulfuric acid as a catalyst has a weakness. The weakness is the difficulty to separate the product and the catalyst. That weakness can be solved by the use of solid catalysts. The solid catalysts are CuO, ZnO and gamma alumina that mixed together. This experiment uses absolute ethanol as feed. This experiment will find the realtion between the time and pressure operation with % conversion and %yield. The fixed variables are the temperature (45 C), the mass of catalyst (10 gram) and the volume (400 mL). The product is analyzed by Gas Chromatography (GC). The result from the experiment is the the higher pressure operation the lower % conversion and % yield. It is caused the higher pressure operation, the more difficult dehydration reaction occured. Meanwhile, the longer time the higher % conversion and % yield at 2 and 2,5 bar. This increse is caused by the longer time, the more ethanol reacted. In other hand, there is a decreasing of % conversion and % yield at 3 and 3,5 bar. The decreasing occur after 30 minutes (3 bar) and 20 minutes (3,5 bar). The decreasing is caused by the high of the pressure operation. The best operation condition from this experiment is at 2 bar and 40 minutes with 18,4 % conversion and % yield.


Diethyl Ether, Dehydration, Catalysts, Batch Reactor

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