Zirconia catalysed acetic acid ketonisation for pre-treatment of biomass fast pyrolysis vapours

Jahangiri, H, Osatiashtiani, A, Bennett, J, Isaacs, M, Gu, S, Lee, A and Wilson, K 2018, 'Zirconia catalysed acetic acid ketonisation for pre-treatment of biomass fast pyrolysis vapours', Catalysis Science and Technology, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 1134-1141.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Zirconia catalysed acetic acid ketonisation for pre-treatment of biomass fast pyrolysis vapours
Author(s) Jahangiri, H
Osatiashtiani, A
Bennett, J
Isaacs, M
Gu, S
Lee, A
Wilson, K
Year 2018
Journal name Catalysis Science and Technology
Volume number 8
Issue number 4
Start page 1134
End page 1141
Total pages 8
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Abstract Crude pyrolysis bio-oil contains significant quantities of carboxylic acids which limit its utility as a biofuel. Vapour phase ketonisation of organic acids contained within biomass fast-pyrolysis vapours offers a potential pre-treatment to improve the stability and energy content of resulting bio-oils formed upon condensation. Zirconia is a promising catalyst for such reactions, however little is known regarding the impact of thermal processing on the physicochemical properties of zirconia in the context of it's corresponding reactivity for the vapour phase ketonisation of acetic acid. Here we show that calcination progressively transforms amorphous Zr(OH)4 into small tetragonal ZrO2 crystallites at 400 °C, and subsequently larger monoclinic crystallites >600 °C. These phase transitions are accompanied by an increase in the density of Lewis acid sites, and concomitant decrease in their acid strength, attributed to surface dehydroxylation and anion vacancy formation. Weak Lewis acid sites (and/or resulting acid-base pairs) are identified as the active species responsible for acetic acid ketonisation to acetone at 350 °C and 400 °C, with stronger Lewis acid sites favouring competing unselective reactions and carbon laydown. Acetone selectivity is independent of acid strength.
Subject Catalysis and Mechanisms of Reactions
Catalytic Process Engineering
DOI - identifier 10.1039/c7cy02541f
Copyright notice This journal © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2018
ISSN 2044-4761
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