BARTON, R.R.; CARRIER, M.; SEGURA, C.; FIERRO, J.L.G.; PARK, S.; LAMB, H.; ESCALONA, N.; PERETTI, S.W.:
Applied Catalysis A: General, Volume 562, 25 July 2018, Pages 294-309
Nickel metal supported on HZSM-5 (zeolite) is a promising catalyst for lignin depolymerization. In this work, the ability of catalysts prepared via deposition-precipitation (DP) to perform hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) on two lignin model compounds in organic and aqueous solvents was evaluated; guaiacol in dodecane and 2-phenoxy-1-phenylethanol (PPE) in aqueous solutions. All Ni/HZSM-5 catalysts were capable of guaiacol HDO into cyclohexane at 523 K. The role of the HZSM-5 acid sites was confirmed by comparison with Ni/SiO2 (inert support) which exhibited incomplete deoxygenation of guaiacol due to the inability to perform the cyclohexanol dehydration step. The catalyst prepared with 15 wt% Ni, a DP time of 16 h, and a calcination temperature of 673 K (Ni(15)/HZSM-5 DP16_Cal673), performed the guaiacol conversion with the greatest selectivity towards HDO products, with an intrinsic rate ratio (HDO rate to conversion rate) of 0.31, and 90% selectivity to cyclohexane. Catalytic activity and selectivity of Ni/HZSM-5 (15 wt%) in aqueous environments (water and 0.1 M NaOH solution) was confirmed using PPE reactions at 523 K. After 30 min reaction time in water, Ni/HZSM-5 exhibited ∼100% conversion of PPE, and good yield of the desired products; ethylbenzene and phenol (∼35% and 23% of initial carbon, respectively). Ni/HZSM-5 in NaOH solution resulted in significantly higher ring saturation compared to the Ni/HZSM-5 in water or the NaOH solution control.