In-situ hydrogenation of bio-oil/bio-oil phenolic compounds with secondary alcohols over a synthesized mesoporous Ni/CeO2 catalyst

Hoda Shafaghat, Yiu Fai Tsang, Jong Ki Jeon, Ji Man Kim, Yeonjoon Kim, Seonah Kim, Young Kwon Park

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Mesoporous ceria, which was synthesized under supercritical conditions, was found to be an effective support material of Ni catalyst for the in-situ hydrogenation of m-cresol (a representative compound of bio-oil) using secondary alcohols of 2-propanol (2-PrOH) and 2-butanol (2-BuOH) as a hydrogen source (H-donor) to produce 3-methylcyclohexanol, 3-methylcyclohexene, and methylcyclohexane under a H2 gas-free atmosphere. The activities of different metal catalysts (Ni, Cu, and Co) for the in-situ hydrogenation of m-cresol were examined using 2-PrOH as a H-donor. Total and effective conversion of m-cresol achieved only over Ni/CeO2 because of its fair catalytic properties, as determined by N2 adsorption-desorption, hydrogen temperature-programmed reduction, ammonia temperature-programmed desorption, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. The dependence of Ni/CeO2 performance on the reaction time (4–6 h) and Ni loading (3–9 wt%) was examined from the in-situ hydrogenation of m-cresol with 2-PrOH. The deactivation test of Ni/CeO2 was performed by reusing the spent catalyst, which was then regenerated through successive oxidation and reduction, several times in the m-cresol transformation employing 2-PrOH as a H-donor. In addition to m-cresol, other phenolic model compounds of bio-oil, such as anisole, phenol, and guaiacol, were also treated by in-situ hydrogenation with 2-PrOH over Ni/CeO2. Although this catalyst was effective for phenol and guaiacol transformation, it was relatively ineffective for anisole conversion. The in-situ hydrogenation of crude bio-oil with 2-PrOH and 2-BuOH was accomplished over the Ni/CeO2 catalyst, resulting in a refined bio-oil with a 37.5–38.9% lower oxygen content and a high heating value (HHV) of up to 25 MJ/kg.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122912
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • 2-Propanol/2-butanol
  • Bio-oil/bio-oil phenolic compounds
  • Ceria-supported nickel catalyst
  • In-situ hydrogenation
  • Product distribution


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