Cu/CeO2 works as an effective heterogeneous catalyst for hydrogenation of dimethyl carbonate to methanol at 433 K and even at low H2 pressure of 2.5 MPa, and it provided 94% and 98% methanol yield based on the carbonyl and total produced methanol, respectively. This is the first report of high yield synthesis of methanol from DMC by hydrogenation with H2 over heterogeneous catalysts. Characterization of the Cu/CeO2 catalyst demonstrated that reduction of Cu/CeO2 produced Cu metal with <1.0 nm (subnanoparticles). Cu metal subnanoparticles are easily formed by the interaction with the CeO2 surface, which is responsible for the high catalytic performance.
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