Journal of Catalysis, Vol.350, 13-20, 2017
PdZn intermetallic on a CN@ZnO hybrid as an efficient catalyst for the semihydrogenation of alkynols
This work highlights a novel hybrid catalyst, intermetallic PdZn on CN@ZnO (PdZn/CN@Zn0), which serves as a highly efficient heterogeneous catalyst for semihydrogenation of 2-methyl-3-butyn-2-ol utilizing water as the solvent. Compared with intermetallic PdZn on ZnO (PdZn/ZnO), PdZn/CN@ZnO displays almost sixfold higher TOF while retaining high selectivity. It is assumed that the introduction of biomass-derived hydrophilic nitrogen-doped carbon into the ZnO helped to promote catalyst dispersion in aqueous media, ensuring better mass transfer. Further experiments and theoretical calculations showed that from Pd particles to intermetallic PdZn, the decrease of corner and edge Pd atoms might be a factor leading to the improvement of selectivity. Recycling experiments demonstrated that the PdZn/CN@ZnO catalyst could be reused at least eight times without significant decrease in activity or selectivity. Furthermore, when applied to industrially relevant alkenols that are building molecules for the production of vitamin E, the present catalyst still offered excellent performance. It is expected that the present catalytic system will demonstrate its high potential for practical production of vitamin E. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.