Alkali catalyzes methanethiol synthesis from CO and H2S

Miao Yu, Ming Wen Chang, Nikolay Kosinov, Emiel J.M. Hensen (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Alkali metals are commonly used to promote heterogeneous catalysts. For instance, K can enhance the MoS2-catalyzed synthesis of methanethiol, an important industrial chemical, from CO/H2/H2S. Herein, we not only demonstrate that the synergy increases with alkali cation size (Cs > Rb > K > Na) but also that alkali sulfides themselves are the active sites. The alkali-normalized methanethiol formation rate of Cs sulfide is nearly the same as that of Cs-promoted MoS2 with a much lower yield of unwanted methane. Kinetic measurements show that methanethiol on alkali sulfides is formed via the reaction 3 CO + 2 H2S → COS + CO2 + CH3SH. This represents a first example of H2S as a hydrogen donor for the formation of the thiol counterpart of methanol. The role of MoS2 is that of a promoter that disperses alkali and provides spillover H from H2 dissociation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-128
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Volume405
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Miao Yu acknowledges the financial support from the Chinese Scholarship Council. The authors thank Dr. Alessandro Longo from DUBBLE beamline (BM26A) at ESRF for assistance with XAS experiments.

Funding Information:
Miao Yu acknowledges the financial support from the Chinese Scholarship Council. The authors thank Dr. Alessandro Longo from DUBBLE beamline (BM26A) at ESRF for assistance with XAS experiments.

Keywords

  • Alkali metals
  • Mechanism
  • Methanethiol
  • MoS
  • Synergy

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