Process intensification of alkynol semihydrogenation in a tube reactor coated with a Pd/ZnO catalyst

Nikolay Cherkasov, Yang Bai, Evgeny Rebrov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Semihydrogenation of 2-methyl-3-butyn-2-ol (MBY) was studied in a 5 m tube reactor wall-coated with a 5 wt % Pd/ZnO catalyst. The system allowed for the excellent selectivity towards the intermediate alkene of 97.8 ± 0.2% at an ambient H 2 pressure and a MBY conversion below 90%. The maximum alkene yield reached 94.6% under solvent-free conditions and 96.0% in a 30 vol % MBY aqueous solution. The reactor stability was studied for 80 h on stream with a deactivation rate of only 0.07% per hour. Such a low deactivation rate provides a continuous operation of one month with only a two-fold decrease in catalyst activity and a metal leaching below 1 parts per billion (ppb). The excellent turn-over numbers (TON) of above 10 5 illustrates a very efficient utilisation of the noble metal inside catalyst-coated tube reactors. When compared to batch operation at 70 °C, the reaction rate in flow reactor can be increased by eight times at a higher reaction temperature, keeping the same product decomposition of about 1% in both cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number358
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).


  • Acetylene
  • Ethylene
  • Flow chemistry
  • Hydrogenation
  • Lindlar
  • Palladium
  • Process intensification
  • Selectivity


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