A simple infrared spectroscopic flow reactor has been fabricated for studying hetereogeneous catalytic reactions at elevated temperatures. Adsorption of CO<sub>2</sub> on alumina and modified alumina catalysts shows the formation of several different surface carbonates. The hydrogen carbonate on alumina has a fast equilibrium with the gas phase. During the reduction of benzoic acid esters in this reactor, the formation of surface benzoate and carbonate has been observed. The desorption rate of the surface benzoate depends on the composition of the catalyst.

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