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Issue 23, 2020
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Surface engineering of earth-abundant Fe catalysts for selective hydrodeoxygenation of phenolics in liquid phase

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Abstract

Development of inexpensive sulfur-free catalysts for selective hydrogenolysis of the C–O bond in phenolics (i.e., selective removal of oxygen without aromatic ring saturation) under liquid-phase conditions is highly challenging. Here, we report an efficient approach to engineer earth-abundant Fe catalysts with a graphene overlayer and alkali metal (i.e., Cs), which produces arenes with 100% selectivity from liquid-phase hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of phenolics with high durability. In particular, we report that a thin (a few layers) surface graphene overlayer can be engineered on metallic Fe particles (G@Fe) by a controlled surface reaction of a carbonaceous compound, which prevents the iron surface from oxidation by hydroxyls or water produced during HDO reaction. More importantly, further tailoring the surface electronic properties of G@Fe with the addition of cesium, creating a Cs-G@Fe composite catalyst in contrast to a deactivated Cs@Fe one, promotes the selective C–O bond cleavage by inhibiting the tautomerization, a pathway that is very facile under liquid-phase conditions. The current study could open a general approach to rational design of highly efficient catalysts for HDO of phenolics.

Graphical abstract: Surface engineering of earth-abundant Fe catalysts for selective hydrodeoxygenation of phenolics in liquid phase

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
19 Feb 2020
Accepted
18 May 2020
First published
18 May 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 5874-5880
Article type
Edge Article

Surface engineering of earth-abundant Fe catalysts for selective hydrodeoxygenation of phenolics in liquid phase

J. Zhang, J. Sun, L. Kovarik, M. H. Engelhard, L. Du, B. Sudduth, H. Li and Y. Wang, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 5874
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC00983K

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