Jamshidi LCLA, Barbosa CMBM, Nascimento L and Rodbari JR
Dimethyl ether (DME) has been considered a potential and promising energy alternative for petroleum subproducts due to its good burning characteristics, and to its high cetana content which is superior to that of diesel. Furthermore, DME can be considered a cleaner fuel than diesel. DME can be produced by dehydration reaction of methanol by using solid catalysts in catalytic reactions. This study shows an analysis of the performance of Al62,2Cu25,5Fe12,3 quasicrystalline alloy as catalyst for dehydrating methanol to produce DME. These quasicrystalline alloys are stable at high temperatures, show a low thermal conductivity and exhibit a fragile nature, which turn them to be easily crushed. Also, their activity is not affected by water. In this research it were used the following special measurements: (i) X-Ray Diffratometry (XRD) for analyzing the phases evolution of the alloys; (ii) Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) in order to study the surface microstructure and (iii) Transmission Electron Microscopy-TEM for studying internal phases; quasicrystal nuclei morphologies, initial defects and for testing methanol catalytic conversion and selectivity. The latter characteristics were also analyzed for DME and for other subproducts formed in the catalyst. The study showed a good performance of the Al62,2Cu25,5Fe12,3 quasicrystalline alloy used as catalyst for DME production.