Biomass & Bioenergy, Vol.56, 592-599, 2013
Improvement of the stability of basic mixed oxides used as catalysts for aldol condensation of bio-derived compounds by palladium addition
Aqueous-phase aldol condensation of biomass-derived ketones and aldehydes is a key step in the preparation of fuels and chemicals from renewable resources. Furfural acetone aldol condensation yielding C-8 and C-13 adducts was studied at 323 K and 1 MPa in a stirred batch reactor. We propose a new strategy for minimizing catalytic deactivation, consisting of modifying catalysts (MgO-ZrO2 and MgO-Al2O3) by Pd addition (2%). This modification slightly changes the morphology and surface chemistry of the supports, leading to changes on the catalysts performance but not reaction mechanism modifications. If condensation is performed in hydrogen atmosphere, the partial hydrogenation of the condensation adducts increases its water solubility, minimizing catalyst deactivation. In that way, the selectivity for C-13 adduct decreases only 25% between two successive reaction cycles using Pd/MgO-ZrO2 catalyst, whereas this decrease is of 90% for the un-doped mixed oxides. These effects are less marked for the MgO-Al2O3 catalyst. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.