Selective Hydrogenation Reactions for Biomass Conversion Catalyzed by Non-Precious Metals

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2016-04-01
Authors
Goes, Shannon
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Chemistry
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Chemistry
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The selective hydrogenation of furfural and glycerol produce high-value chemicals that are useful as the replacement of fuel additives, food preservatives, and polymer precursors that usually come from petroleum. To achieve high levels of conversion and selectivity for these reactions, noble metal catalysts are often used. We studied the conversion of furfural and glycerol to useful derivatives over silica supported non-precious metal single and intermetallic nanoparticle catalysts. Two distinct synthesis methods were used to produce pure-phase bimetallic and monometallic catalysts with various metal loading amounts. Their catalytic properties were tested in reactions that were carried out in a batch reactor under hydrogen. ~90.28% conversion of furfural and ~17.62% selectivity to 2-methylfuran could be achieved (200°C, 0.87g Ni catalyst, 40bar H2) and ~0.4% conversion of furfural and ~100% selectivity to 2-methyl furan could be achieved (200°C, 319.87mg Cu catalyst, 40bar H2). These non-precious metal catalysts are promising owing to their high stability, low cost, and potential for high selectivity and conversion.

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