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Macroporous–mesoporous carbon supported Ni catalysts for the conversion of cellulose to polyols

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Abstract

Carbon based materials are some of the most commonly studied catalysts for the conversion of cellulose to polyols. The catalytic performance of these materials, however, is typically limited by the access of the substrate to the active sites, which is governed by the poor solubility of cellulose in aqueous solutions. In an attempt to resolve this, we presented a novel hierarchical carbon material which was synthesized by a dual-templating method. Transmission electron microscopy and porosity measurements confirmed that the resultant materials consisted of both spherical macropores and well-defined mesoporous channels. Additional characterisation of this material revealed that it has an exceptionally high surface area (>1110 m2 g−1) and a high concentration of acidic sites, which are considered to be crucial for the hydrolysis of cellulose. Ni nanoparticles were subsequently immobilised onto this material and some additional carbon supports. It was determined that the high surface area and porosity of the synthesised carbon material assisted with the dispersion of the Ni nanoparticles. This Ni catalyst was found to be highly efficient for the one-pot conversion of cellulose to polyols, which is proposed to be a consequence of both the high number of acid sites and excellent Ni dispersion. This approach to catalyst design, offers a novel method for the valorisation of cellulose.

Graphical abstract: Macroporous–mesoporous carbon supported Ni catalysts for the conversion of cellulose to polyols

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 May 2018, accepted on 06 Jul 2018 and first published on 09 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8GC01624K
Citation: Green Chem., 2018, Advance Article
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    Macroporous–mesoporous carbon supported Ni catalysts for the conversion of cellulose to polyols

    B. Zhang, B. Chen, M. Douthwaite, Q. Liu, C. Zhang, Q. Wu, R. Shi, P. Wu, F. Zhao and G. Hutchings, Green Chem., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8GC01624K

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