(617aq) Furfuryl Alcohol Dehydration over Metal Oxide Catalysts

Chan, X., Stony Brook University
Kim, T., Stony Brook University

After U.S. Department of Energy reported top 12 template chemicals (C3~C6 open and close ring structures) that can be produced from lignocellusic biomass in 2004, it has been extensively investigated the utilization and production of these building blocks and intermediate chemicals. One of the attractive chemical product during biomass conversion, especially hemicellulose decomposition, is furfuryl alcohol (FA, C5H6O2) which can be produced via selective hydrogenation of furfural. It has the capacity to be converted into FA oligomers (dimer and trimer) through the dehydration reaction which could possibly form biofuel via hydrodeoxygenation reaction. Previously we reported homogenous acid catalyzed FA conversion reaction for oligomer formation using different spectroscopic techniques such as Raman and IR spectrometer. However, heterogeneous catalysts should be considered to replace homogeneous catalysts to avoid catalyst separation and regeneration issues. Despite the extensive experimental and theoretical studies on metal oxide catalyzed alcohol dehydration reactions, fundamental understating of the FA dehydration reaction over metal oxides is still unclear.

In this study, the effect of different metal oxide catalysts (Al2O3, TiO2, ZrO2, Nb2O5, and SiO2), surface areas, and crystalline structure on the FA dehydration catalytic activity and productsâ?? selectivity has been extensively investigated. Combining spectroscopic and analytical techniques including X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, BET, and Gas Chromatography (GC and GC/MS) have been applied under ex-situ and in-situ conditions. Furthermore, Operando Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (DRIFT) have been used to identify surface intermediates and to understand FA dehydration mechanisms over the metal oxides.

KEYWORDS: In-situ, Operando, Spectroscopy, Metal Oxides, Furfuryl Alcohol dehydration


We gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this study from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and the Program in Chemical and Molecular Engineering at Stony Brook University through startup research funding, as well as the funding from National Science Foundation (NSF-CBET-1546647).