Catalytic Conversion of Cellulose to Ethylene Glycol over a Low-Cost Binary Catalyst of Raney Ni and Tungstic Acid

Authors

  • Zhijun Tai,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 411-84691570
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (P.R. China)
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  • Junying Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 411-84691570
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (P.R. China)
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  • Prof. Aiqin Wang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 411-84691570
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  • Dr. Jifeng Pang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 411-84691570
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  • Dr. Mingyuan Zheng,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 411-84691570
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  • Prof. Tao Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 411-84691570
    • State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian 116023 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 411-84691570
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Abstract

Following our previous report on the selective transformation of cellulose to ethylene glycol (EG) over a binary catalyst composed of tungstic acid and Ru/C, we herein report a new low-cost but more effective binary catalyst by using Raney nickel in place of Ru/C (Raney Ni+H2WO4). In addition to tungstic acid, other W compounds were also investigated in combination with Raney Ni. The results showed that the EG yield depended on the W compound: H4SiW12O40<H3PW12O40<WO3<H2WO4, but all the investigated W compounds were selective towards EG. Moreover, both WO3 and H2WO4 were dissolved partially under the reaction conditions and transformed into HxWO3, which is the genuinely active species for the C[BOND]C bond breakage of cellulose. This result further confirmed that the reaction that involves the selective breakage of the C[BOND]C bonds of cellulose with W species is homogenous. Among various binary catalysts, the combination of Raney Ni and H2WO4 gave the highest yield of EG (65 %), which could be attributed to the high activity of Raney Ni for hydrogenation and its inertness for the further degradation of EG. Moreover, Raney Ni+H2WO4 showed good reusability; it could be reused at least 17 times without any decay in the EG yield, which shows its great potential for industrial applications.

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