(589c) Vapor Phase Hydrogenation of Furfural Utilizing Nickel Mixed Metal Oxides

Sulmonetti, T. - Presenter, Georgia Institute of Technology

Taylor Sulmonetti

AIChE Abstract

Adviser: Dr. Christopher Jones

Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division

Vapor Phase Hydrogenation of Furfural Utilizing Nickel Mixed Metal Oxides

Furfural, an important biomass compound derived from inedible lignocellulose, can be hydrogenated into potentially valuable and more stable commodity chemicals such as furfuryl alcohol and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol (THFA). Many precious metals such as Pt, Pd, Ir, and Re have been widely studied for this conversion; therefore, looking into more viable metals such as Ni is important from an economic standpoint.1 Nickel nanoparticles supported on silica have shown good yields towards furfuryl alcohol and THFA depending on reaction conditions; however, SiO2 is not a very robust support.2 Also along with single metal catalysts, bifunctional catalysts, such as Ir-ReOx and Pd-ReOx, have begun to emerge as a promising route for furfural hydrogenation due to higher yields compared to monometallic catalysts.1 Consequently, we seek to investigate a more robust nickel catalyst while incorporating other oxophilic metals to create a bifunctional catalyst.  In this talk we will discuss our work on the synthesis and characterization of non-precious mixed metal oxide catalysts, Ni-M-Al (M= Co, Mg, and Zn), and relate their properties to the vapor phase hydrogenation of furfural. Along with reaction studies, we will show that temperature programmed reduction (TPR), XRD, and TEM support the hypothesis that the nickel phases are highly dispersed and embedded into the structure allowing for catalytically active Ni0 nanoparticles to be formed. The combination of the Ni0particles and the oxophilic metals allows for tuning of the activity and selectivity of furfural conversion.


(1)      Nakagawa, Y.; Tamura, M.; Tomishige, K. ACS Catal. 2013, 3, 2655.

(2)      Nakagawa, Y.; Nakazawa, H.; Watanabe, H.; Tomishige, K. ChemCatChem 2012, 4, 1791.