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Tuning the Acid/Metal Balance of Carbon Nanofiber-Supported Nickel Catalysts for Hydrolytic Hydrogenation of Cellulose

Authors

  • Dr. Stijn Van de Vyver,

    1. Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium), Fax: (+32) 1632-1998
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  • Dr. Jan Geboers,

    1. Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium), Fax: (+32) 1632-1998
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  • Wouter Schutyser,

    1. Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium), Fax: (+32) 1632-1998
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  • Michiel Dusselier,

    1. Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium), Fax: (+32) 1632-1998
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  • Pierre Eloy,

    1. Unité de catalyse et chimie des matériaux divisés Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud, 2/17B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
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  • Dr. Emmie Dornez,

    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium)
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  • Prof. Dr. Jin Won Seo,

    1. Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 44, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium)
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  • Prof. Dr. Christophe M. Courtin,

    1. Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium)
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  • Prof. Dr. Eric M. Gaigneaux,

    1. Unité de catalyse et chimie des matériaux divisés Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud, 2/17B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
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  • Prof. Dr. Pierre A. Jacobs,

    1. Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium), Fax: (+32) 1632-1998
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  • Prof. Dr. Bert F. Sels

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium), Fax: (+32) 1632-1998
    • Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium), Fax: (+32) 1632-1998
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Abstract

Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) are a class of graphitic support materials with considerable potential for catalytic conversion of biomass. Earlier, we demonstrated the hydrolytic hydrogenation of cellulose over reshaped nickel particles attached at the tip of CNFs. The aim of this follow-up study was to find a relationship between the acid/metal balance of the Ni/CNFs and their performance in the catalytic conversion of cellulose. After oxidation and incipient wetness impregnation with Ni, the Ni/CNFs were characterized by various analytical methods. To prepare a selective Ni/CNF catalyst, the influences of the nature of oxidation agent, Ni activation, and Ni loading were investigated. Under the applied reaction conditions, the best result, that is, 76 % yield in hexitols with 69 % sorbitol selectivity at 93 % conversion of cellulose, was obtained on a 7.5 wt % Ni/CNF catalyst prepared by chemical vapor deposition of CH4 on a Ni/γ-Al2O3 catalyst, followed by oxidation in HNO3 (twice for 1 h at 383 K), incipient wetness impregnation, and reduction at 773 K under H2. This preparation method leads to a properly balanced Ni/CNF catalyst in terms of Ni dispersion and hydrogenation capacity on the one hand, and the number of acidic surface-oxygen groups responsible for the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis on the other.

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