GHAMPSON, I.; SEPÚLVEDA, C.; GARCÍA, R.; GARCÍA, J.L.; ESCALONA, N.; DESISTO, W.
Applied Catalysis A: General 435-436 (2012) 51- 60.
The hydrodeoxygenation of guaiacol (2-methoxyphenol) has been studied in a batch reactor over alumina- and SBA-15 silica-supported molybdenum nitride catalysts at 300 °C and 5 MPa of hydrogen pressure. The catalysts were prepared by nitriding supported Mo oxide precursors with ammonia gas or nitrogen–hydrogen mixtures via temperature-programmed reaction. The alumina-supported catalysts had a higher activity relative to the SBA-15 silica-supported catalysts which was essentially due to catechol production, an effect of the alumina support. The SBA-15 silica-supported catalysts transformed guaiacol directly to phenol by demethoxylation without noticeable catechol production. On both supports, nitridation by ammonolysis increased the activity by a factor of ∼1.1 relative to nitridation by nitrogen–hydrogen. On SBA-15, ammonolysis preferentially produced the γ-Mo2N phase while the N2/H2 mixture produced the β-Mo2N0.78phase. The incorporation of Co led to a marginal improvement in exposed Mo species but generally had a diminishing effect on HDO activity. The lack of catechol production using the SBA-15 silica support is important in minimizing coking reactions and also opens up possibilities for utilizing silica supports with highly controlled pore sizes to possibly influence product distribution in HDO of more diverse feed streams derived from biomass conversion processes.