Mild temperature palladium-catalyzed ammoxidation of ethanol to acetonitrile

Conor Hamill, Hafedh Driss, Alexandre Goguet, Robbie Burch, Lachezar Petrov, Muhammad Daous*, David Rooney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The ammoxidation of ethanol is investigated as a renewable process for the production of acetonitrile from a bio-feedstock. Palladium catalysts are shown to be active and very selective (>99%) to this reaction at moderate to low temperatures (150-240 °C), with acetonitrile yields considered a function of Pd morphology. Further investigations reveal that the stability of these catalysts is influenced by an unselective product, and that any deactivation observed is reversible. Interpretation of this deactivation allows operating conditions to be defined for the stable, high yielding production of acetonitrile from ethanol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15562
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Early online date25 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 05 Oct 2015


  • Bio-based chemicals
  • Palladium
  • Product security
  • Renewable solvents
  • Sustainable chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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