Aqueous-phase tandem catalytic conversion of xylose to furfuryl alcohol over [Al]-SBA-15 molecular sieves

Rafael F. Perez, Elise Mota Albuquerque, Luiz Eduardo Pizarro Borges, Christopher Hardacre, Marco A. Fraga

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Abstract

Catalytic active sites were controllably assembled into SBA-15 framework by direct hydrothermal synthesis. Incorporation of Al as a heteroatom at different Si/Al ratios was used to tune their surface properties and the catalysts were characterized by SAXRD, ICP-OES, FE-SEM, TEM, FTIR, 29Si and 27Al CP-NMR, pyridine adsorption and titration in water. Reactivity towards direct conversion of xylose to furfuryl alcohol was systematically investigated. Brønsted acid sites, generated by introducing Al into the siliceous SBA-15 framework, were found to be active for pentose dehydration reaction, whilst the Lewis acid sites promoted the transfer hydrogenation of adsorbed furfural intermediate to furfuryl alcohol. A remarkably high selectivity to furfuryl alcohol (90 – 95%) was observed using the mesoporous catalysts and it was dependent of the Al concentration in the siliceous framework. The vicinity of Brønsted and Lewis acid sites is suggested to be of major concern since the adsorbed furfural species is proposed to be reduced to furfuryl alcohol without being desorbed. The [Al]-SBA-15 molecular sieves were shown to be chemically and structurally stable demonstrating good recyclability in the aqueous-phase upgrading of xylose.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCatalysis Science & Technology
Early online date26 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Aug 2019

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