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Issue 23, 2013
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Hydrogenolysis of ethylene glycol to methanol over modified RANEY® catalysts

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Abstract

There is tremendous growing interest in utilizing biomass molecules for energy provision due to their carbon neutrality. Here, we employ ethylene glycol as a model compound for catalytic activation, which represents a basic unit for complex carbohydrate molecules (polyols). In this paper, hydrogenolysis of ethylene glycol to produce methanol in hydrogen over modified RANEY® Ni and Cu catalysts has been studied. This work provides essential information that may leads to the development of new catalysts for carbohydrate activation to methanol, a novel but important reaction concerning biomass conversion to transportable form of energy. Particularly, in this study, modification of electronic structure hence adsorption properties of RANEY® catalysts has mainly been achieved by blending with second metal(s). It is found that the activity and selectivity of this reaction can be significantly affected by this approach. In contrast, there is no subtle effect on methanol selectivity despite a great variation in the d-band centre position which shows a distinctive effect on other products. This result suggests that methanol is produced on specific surface sites independent from the other sites at an intrinsic rate and will not be converted to other products by the d-band alteration.

Graphical abstract: Hydrogenolysis of ethylene glycol to methanol over modified RANEY® catalysts

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Apr 2013, accepted on 19 Apr 2013 and first published on 24 Apr 2013


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51619A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 9043-9050

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    Hydrogenolysis of ethylene glycol to methanol over modified RANEY® catalysts

    C. Wu, J. Qu, J. Elliott, K. M. K. Yu and S. C. E. Tsang, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 9043
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51619A

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