Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of anisole, a representative of lignin-derived bio oil, was investigated on SiO2-Al2O3 supported Ni nano-particles at low hydrogen pressure. Plasma was used for the surface modification of the support. The supports and catalysts were characterized by N2 physisorption, FT-IR spectroscopy, Temperature Program Desorption of ammonia (NH3-TPD), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that the plasma treatment improved both the SiO2-Al2O3 surface characteristics and pore structure. The catalyst with a plasma treated support had a higher dispersion and smaller NiO particle size, leading to an improved hydrodeoxygenation activity and product selectivity. Phenol and benzene were the major products of anisole HDO. Demethylation, hydrodeoxygenation and transalkylation reactions are the main chemical reactions for anisole upgrading using the Ni/Al2O3-SiO2 catalyst. Compared to the untreated catalyst, the plasma treated Ni/Al2O3-SiO2 catalyst gives higher anisole conversion at atmospheric pressure by which valuable products were obtained with higher selectivity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Parts of the characterization of the catalyst was performed at the University of Minnesota supported by the University of Minnesota.