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Ruthenium Nanoparticles Supported on Carbon: An Active Catalyst for the Hydrogenation of Lactic Acid to 1,2-Propanediol

DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.5b00625 DOI Help

Authors: Sarwat Iqbal (Cardiff University) , Simon Kondrat (Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Cardiff University) , Daniel R. Jones (Cardiff University) , Daniel C. Schoenmakers (Cardiff University) , Jennifer K. Edwards (Cardiff University) , Li Lu (Lehigh University, USA) , Benjamin R. Yeo (Cardiff University) , Peter Wells (University College London (UCL)) , Emma Gibson (University College London) , David J. Morgan (Cardiff University) , Christopher J. Kiely (Lehigh University, USA) , Graham J. Hutchings (Cardiff University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: ACS Catalysis , VOL 5 (9) , PAGES 5047 - 5059

State: Published (Approved)
Published: September 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 8071

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The hydrogenation of lactic acid to form 1,2-propanediol has been investigated using Ru nanoparticles supported on carbon as a catalyst. Two series of catalysts which were prepared by wet impregnation and sol-immobilization were investigated. Their activity was contrasted with that of a standard commercial Ru/C catalyst (all catalysts comprise 5 wt % Ru). The catalyst prepared using sol-immobilization was found to be more active than the wet impregnation materials. In addition, the catalyst made by sol-immobilization was initially more active than the standard commercial catalyst. However, when reacted for an extended time or with successive reuse cycles, the sol-immobilized catalyst became less active, whereas the standard commercial catalyst became steadily more active. Furthermore, both catalysts exhibited an induction period during the first 1000 s of reaction. Detailed scanning transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption fine structure analysis data, when correlated with the catalytic performance results, showed that the high activity can be ascribed to highly dispersed Ru nanoparticles. Although the sol-immobilization method achieved these optimal discrete Ru nanoparticles immediately, as can be expected from this preparation methodology, the materials were unstable upon reuse. In addition, surface lactide species were detected on these particles using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, which could contribute to their deactivation. The commercial Ru/C catalysts, on the other hand, required treatment under reaction conditions to change from raft-like morphologies to the desired small nanoparticle morphology, during which time the catalytic performance progressively improved.

Journal Keywords: Catalytic Hydrogenation; Lactic Acid; Ru/C; Catalyst Reuse; Propane Diol; Propylene Glycol

Subject Areas: Chemistry

Instruments: B18-Core EXAFS

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