Dehydrogenation of methanol to methyl formate over copper catalysts

Stephen P. Tonner, David L. Trimm, Mark S. Wainwright*, Noel W. Cant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


The suitability of a number of copper catalysts for the dehydrogenation of methanol to methyl formate has been assessed via the use of specific rate constants, based on metal surface areas, for the dehydrogenation reaction, and the major side reaction, decarbonylation. Copper chromite catalysts, which combine high bulk densities with high metal areas, were particularly effective despite the existence of a negative contribution of the support to specific activity which was low when compared with copper on silica catalysts. Raney copper catalysts gave very high initial activity, but rapid deactivation took place. This was attributed to polymerization of a formaldehyde intermediate in the reaction scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-388
Number of pages5
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Product Research and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1984


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