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The effect of metal precursor on copper phase dispersion and nanoparticle formation for the catalytic transformations of furfural

DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2020.119062 DOI Help

Authors: Mohammed J. Islam (Aston University) , Marta Granollersmesa (Aston University) , Amin Osatiashtiani (Aston University) , Martin J. Taylor (University of Hull) , Jinesh C. Manayil (Aston University) , Christopher M. A. Parlett (University of Manchester; University of Manchester at Harwell; Diamond Light Source) , Mark A. Isaacs (University College London (UCL); Research Complex at Harwell) , Georgios Kyriakou (University of Hull)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2020

Abstract: The formation of copper-based catalysts ranging from nanoparticles to isolated and dimeric Cu species supported on nanophased alumina is reported and utilised for the catalytic liquid-phase hydrogenation of furfural. The materials were synthesised via wet impregnation using various copper precursors (nitrate, acetate and sulphate) at two different loadings. A high Cu loading (5 wt%) led to the formation of well-defined nanoparticles, while a lower loading (1 wt%) generated a highly dispersed phase consisting mostly of atomic and dimeric Cu species dispersed on Al2O3. The catalytic reaction was found to be structure sensitive, promoting decarbonylation reactions with low Cu loading. Copper sulphate derived catalysts were found to severely decrease furfuryl alcohol selectivity from 94.6% to 0.8%, promoting the formation of side reactions. The sulphur-free catalysts represent a greener and more sustainable alternative to the toxic catalysts currently used in industry, operating at milder conditions of 50 °C and 1.5 bar H2.

Journal Keywords: Copper; Furfural; Nanoparticle, Hydrogenation; Single atom catalysts

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Energy

Instruments: B18-Core EXAFS