Transfer Hydrogenation of Cellulose-based Oligomers over Carbon-supported Ruthenium Catalyst in a Fixed-bed Reactor

Authors

  • Abhijit Shrotri,

    1. ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 (Australia), Fax: (+61) 7-3346-3973
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  • Dr. Hirokazu Kobayashi,

    1. Catalysis Research Centre, Hokkaido University, Kita 21 Nishi 10, Kita Ku, Sapporo 001-0021 (Japan)
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  • Dr. Akshat Tanksale,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800 (Australia)
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  • Prof. Atsushi Fukuoka,

    1. Catalysis Research Centre, Hokkaido University, Kita 21 Nishi 10, Kita Ku, Sapporo 001-0021 (Japan)
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  • Dr. Jorge Beltramini

    Corresponding author
    1. ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 (Australia), Fax: (+61) 7-3346-3973
    • ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 (Australia), Fax: (+61) 7-3346-3973===

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Abstract

Ru supported on activated carbon was found to be active for the transfer hydrogenation of cellulose oligomers, which were produced by the milling of acidulated microcrystalline cellulose. A C6 sugar alcohol yield of 85 % was obtained in less than 1 h reaction time in a batch reactor. Optimum reaction conditions for transfer hydrogenation were determined as 180 °C and a pH above 2.2 using glucose as a substrate. Use of deuterium as a marker established that direct transfer of hydride species from 2-propanol to glucose occurs through the dihydride mechanism. Formation of molecular hydrogen from 2-propanol dehydrogenation was found to be a side reaction, with little influence on the glucose hydrogenation step. Conversion of cellulose oligomers to hexitols was also achieved in a continuous flow fixed-bed reactor with 36.4 % yield at a liquid hourly space velocity of 4.7 h−1. The catalytic activity did not decrease even after 12 h of the onstream reaction.

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