Acetic acid ketonization over Fe3O4/SiO2 for pyrolysis bio-oil upgrading

James Bennett, Christopher Parlett, Mark Isaacs, Lee J. Durndell, Luca Olivi, Adam F. Lee*, Karen Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A family of silica supported, magnetite nanoparticle catalysts was synthesized and investigated for continuous flow acetic acid ketonization as a model pyrolysis bio-oil upgrading reaction. Physicochemical properties of Fe3O4/SiO2 catalysts were characterized by HRTEM, XAS, XPS, DRIFTS, TGA and porosimetry. Acid site densities were inversely proportional to Fe3O4 particle size, although acid strength and Lewis character were size invariant, and correlated with the specific activity for vapor phase acetic ketonization to acetone. A constant activation energy (~110 kJ.mol-1), turnover frequency (~13 h-1) and selectivity to acetone of 60 % were observed for ketonization across the catalyst series, implicating Fe3O4 as the principal active component of Red Mud waste.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1648-1654
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Early online date3 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in
any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funding: EPSRC (EP/K036548/2, EP/K014676/1, EP/N009924/1) ; and Royal
Society for the award of an Industry Fellowship.


  • carboxylic acids
  • iron
  • nanoparticles
  • supported catalysts
  • waste prevention


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