Carbon-embedded Ni nanocatalysts derived from MOFs by sacrificial template method for efficient hydrogenation of furfural to tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol
We report a fast and simple method for synthesis of Ni-based metal-organic-frameworks (Ni-MOFs). Due to the existence of nickel ions and organic ligand, the MOFs are employed as sacrificial template for facile preparation of carbon-embedded Ni (Ni/C) catalysts by directly thermal decomposition method. The obtained Ni/C catalysts exhibits excellent catalytic activity for transforming furfural (FAL) to tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol (THFOL) selectively due to Ni nanoparticles (NPs) embedded uniformly in the ligand-derived carbon. The exemplified results illustrate the catalytic performance of Ni/C catalyst is greatly manoeuvred by the calcination conditions (temperature and time)，composition of Ni-MOFs precursor as well as the catalysis conditions. The conversion of FAL and selectivity of THFOL are both reached 100 % under the conditions of 120 °C and 1 MPa H2 pressure for 120 min of hydrogenation over the Ni/C-500 catalyst, derived from pyrolysis of Ni-MOFs (Ni:BTC mole ratio of 1.0) at 500 °C for 120 min, which exhibits an average nanoparticle size of ~14 nm and uniform dispersion, and highest BET surface area (~92 m2/g) among all investigated Ni/C catalysts. This facilely prepared heterogenous catalyst would be very promising for the replacement of noble metal catalysts for efficiently catalytic conversion of biomass-derived feedstocks into value-added chemicals.