Ethylene oxide (EO) degradation over Ag/α-Al2O3 catalysts involves bifunctional pathways, whereby α-Al2O3 surfaces catalyze hydration, isomerization, dimerization, and oxidation while Ag surfaces facilitate combustion and isomerization of ethylene oxide. EO degradation reactions run over Ag/α-Al2O3, α-Al2O3, and intrapellet mixtures thereof with co-feeds of O2 and oxygenate products show that Ag surfaces are more reactive than α-Al2O3 and that oxygenate products generated over α-Al2O3 combust over Ag much more (>30x) readily than EO. These observations suggest that additives which mitigate surface hydration of α-Al2O3 and combustion activity of Ag will most effectively mitigate EO degradation.
- Ethylene oxide
- Reaction pathways