Zirconia catalysed acetic acid ketonisation for pre-treatment of biomass fast pyrolysis vapours.

Hessam Jahangiri, Amin Osatiashtiani, James Bennett, Mark Isaacs, Sai Gu, Adam Lee, Karen Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Crude pyrolysis bio-oil contains significant quantities of carboxylic acids which limit its utility as a biofuel. Vapour phase ketonisation of organic acids contained within biomass fast-pyrolysis vapours offers a potential pre-treatment to improve the stability and energy content of resulting bio-oils formed upon condensation. Zirconia is a promising catalyst for such reactions, however little is known regarding the impact of thermal processing on the physicochemical properties of zirconia in the context of their corresponding reactivity for the vapour phase ketonisation of acetic acid. Here we show that calcination progressively transforms amorphous Zr(OH)4 into small tetragonal ZrO2 crystallites at 400 °C, and subsequently larger monoclinic crystallites >600 °C. These phase transitions are accompanied by an increase in the density of Lewis acid sites, and concomitant decrease in their acid strength, attributed to surface dehydroxylation and anion vacancy formation. Weak Lewis acid sites (and/or resulting acid-base pairs) are identified as the active species responsible for acetic acid ketonisation to acetone at 350 °C and 400 °C, with stronger Lewis acid sites favouring competing unselective reactions and carbon laydown. Acetone selectivity is independent of acid strength.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCatalysis Science and Technology
Volume8
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2018

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Lewis Acids
Acetic acid
Acetic Acid
Zirconia
Biomass
Pyrolysis
Vapors
Acetone
Crystallites
Acids
Oils
Biofuels
Organic acids
Carboxylic Acids
Calcination
Vacancies
Anions
Condensation
Carbon
Phase transitions

Bibliographical note

© Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018.

Funding: EPSRC (EP/K036548/2, EP/K014676/1, EP/N009924/1) and FP7-funded CAScade deoxygenation process using tailored nanoCATalysts for the production of BiofuELs from lignocellulosic biomass (CASCATBEL) project (Grant Agreement No.
604307).

Cite this

Jahangiri, Hessam ; Osatiashtiani, Amin ; Bennett, James ; Isaacs, Mark ; Gu, Sai ; Lee, Adam ; Wilson, Karen. / Zirconia catalysed acetic acid ketonisation for pre-treatment of biomass fast pyrolysis vapours. In: Catalysis Science and Technology. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 4.
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Zirconia catalysed acetic acid ketonisation for pre-treatment of biomass fast pyrolysis vapours. / Jahangiri, Hessam; Osatiashtiani, Amin; Bennett, James; Isaacs, Mark; Gu, Sai; Lee, Adam; Wilson, Karen.

In: Catalysis Science and Technology, Vol. 8, No. 4, 18.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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