Catalytic Hydrotreatment of β-O-4 Ether in Lignin: Cleavage of the C-O Bond and Hydrodeoxygenation of Lignin-Derived Phenols in One Pot

Minghao Zhou, Changzhou Chen, Peng Liu, Haihong Xia, Jing Li, Brajendra K. Sharma, Jianchun Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Selective hydrotreatment of β-O-4 ether bonds in lignin is a key strategy for the lignin valorization. The current catalytic strategy can only transfer β-O-4 model compounds to aromatics. Also, further upgrading was still needed to convert those aromatics/phenols into aviation fuels or chemicals (e.g., cycloalkanes, cycloalcohols) in a following step. Herein, a one-pot method for the hydrotreatment of lignin β-O-4 ether to cycloalkanes/cycloalcohols over NiLa/CNT was reported due to the introduction of La. The dehydroxylation of 2-phenoxy-1-phenylethan-1-ol to phenethoxybenzene was the key step during the hydrotreatment, followed by the β-O-4 bond cleavage to ethylbenzene and phenol, which was then simultaneously hydrogenated to afford ethyl cyclohexane and cyclohexanol. The catalyst acidity was found to be important during the hydrotreatment process, especially the Brønsted acid sites. This was confirmed by control experiments using different reaction intermediates as reactants, as well as analysis of products distribution and DFT calculations. This work provides a novel and economical method for the selective hydrotreatment of lignin model compounds into aviation fuel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14511-14523
Number of pages13
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume8
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 28 2020

Keywords

  • Ether cleavage
  • Hydrodeoxygenation
  • Hydrotreatment
  • Lignin
  • NiLa/CNT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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