PdCu single atom alloys supported on alumina for the selective hydrogenation of furfural

Mohammed J. Islam, Marta Granollers Mesa, Amin Osatiashtiani, Jinesh C. Manayil, Mark A. Isaacs, Martin J. Taylor, Sotirios Tsatsos, Georgios Kyriakou

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Single-atom catalysts serve as a skilful control of precious metals on heterogenous catalysts where all active sites are accessible for catalytic reactions. Here we report the adoption of PdCu single-atom alloys supported on alumina for the selective hydrogenation of furfural. This is a special class of an atom efficient, single-site catalyst where trace concentrations of Pd atoms (0.0067 wt%) displace surface Cu sites on the host nanoparticle. Confirmed by EXAFS, the Pd atoms are entirely coordinated to Cu, with Pd-Cu bond lengths identical to that of a Cu-Cu bond. Selectively surface oxidised catalysts also confirm surface Pd atoms by EXAFS. These catalysts improve the conversion of furfural to furfuryl alcohol compared to monometallic catalysts, as they have the advantages of Cu (high selectivity but poor activity) and Pd catalysts (superior activity but unselective) without the drawbacks, making them the optimal catalysts for green/atom efficient catalysis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120652
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Early online date21 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Funding: The authors also acknowledge the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) for the funding of equipment used in this work. GK acknowledges funding from EPSRC (EP/M005186/2). MJT acknowledges funding through the THYME project (UKRI, Research England). ST and GK acknowledge funding by grant no. 80643 provided by the ″K. Karatheodory″, University of Patras.


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