Bimetallic Cu-Ni catalysts supported on MCM-41 and Ti-MCM-41 porous materials for hydrodeoxygenation of lignin model compound into transportation fuels

The design of novel, efficient supported bimetallic catalysts for the transformation of renewable lignin model compounds into valuable products is currently an emerging research topic. This study investigates the synthesis, characterization and the catalytic application of bimetallic Cu-Ni catalysts supported on pure MCM-41 and Ti incorporated MCM-41 porous materials for the valorization of a lignin model compound (i.e. guaiacol) into the transportation fuels via hydrodeoxygenation route (HDO). The investigated characterization results revealed that the Ti species are well-dispersed within the MCM-41 framework by a tetrahedral coordination. NH3-TPD studies show that the incorporation of Ti into the MCM-41 framework generates large amounts of acidic sites. It was also found that, the coordinated Ti species enhance the dispersion of CuO and NiO species on the surface of Ti-MCM-41 support. The CuNi/Ti-MCM-41 catalyst shows excellent reducible properties due to the co-operative effects of CuO and NiO with the Ti-MCM-41 support. The catalytic experiments revealed that the CuNi/Ti-MCM-41 catalyst exhibits a higher guaiacol conversion (~90.49%) and superior selectivity to cyclohexane (~50.09%) than the CuNi/MCM-41 catalyst which exhibits only ~10.57% cyclohexane selectivity with a guaiacol conversion of ~37.03%. The guaiacol conversion and cyclohexane selectivity were found to increase with the increase of reaction pressure from 40 to 100bar for CuNi/Ti-MCM-41 catalyst. It has been demonstrated that the HDO of guaiacol proceeds via demethoxylation (CAR-OCH3 cleavage) over the CuNi/Ti-MCM-41 catalyst and both demethylation (CARO-CH3 cleavage) and demethoxylation (CAR-OCH3 cleavage) pathways are possible over the CuNi/MCM-41 catalyst in HDO of guaiacol.

» Author: Murtala M. Ambursa, Putla Sudarsanam, Lee Hwei Voon, Sharifah Bee Abd Hamid, Suresh K. Bhargava

» Reference: Fuel Processing Technology, Volume 162

» Publication Date: 01/07/2017

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement N° 690103