Herein, the synthesis of pure and modified mesoporous nanocrystalline NiO is reported. The catalyst was modified with different wt % F‐ions or K2O and used to produce Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) as a potential fuel/solvent. XRD analysis of the promoted catalysts confirmed the formation of Ni‐metal covered by the host oxide, compared with pure NiO, especially for the promoted catalysts with x wt % F‐ions. CO2‐TPD results demonstrated the existence of different basic sites over these catalysts with varying strength. The catalytic conversion of sec‐butanol (SB) into MEK over the parent NiO catalyst showed 52 % and 76.8 % conversion of SB at 250 and 275 °C, respectively, with higher selectivity to MEK >96 %. Among the promoted catalysts, NiO‐10 wt % F− and NiO‐1 wt % K2O catalysts showed 99 and 95 % conversion, respectively, with retaining the MEK selectivity of ≥96 %. The catalytic activity, of the most active catalysts, was correlated with the presence of Ni/NiO interfaces, different types of basic sites, especially strong basic sites, and the surface area and porosity measurements.
- Methyl Ethyl Ketone
- Potassium oxide