Ni-Based heterogeneous catalysts for the transformation of fatty acids into higher yields of O-free hydrocarbons†
A series of novel catalytic materials were synthesized by changing the chemical compounds in the impregnation solutions. A rigid, aromatic and bidentate molecule 1,10-phenanthroline (PhN) was used as a ligand to bind Ni2+ species prior to impregnation into a mesoporous KIT-5 support. The in situ synthesized coordination compounds were impregnated into KIT-5 and the resulting materials exhibited better dispersion of metal species, being the best at a molar ratio Ni : PhN = 1 : 1. The materials were tested in the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of palmitic acid. We found that highly active and stable catalysts were obtained when using PhN as a chelating agent in the impregnation solution. The selectivity of these materials is remarkable since only O-free molecules were detected in the HDO products. Therefore, Ni–PhN complexes in combination with mesoporous SiO2 can be further exploited for the catalytic transformation of biomass feedstocks.