Applied Surface Science, Vol.474, 161-168, 2019
A novel catalyst of Ni hybridized with single-walled carbon nanohorns for converting methyl levulinate to gamma-valerolactone
gamma-valerolactone (GVL) is a fine chemical which is widely used as a green solvent, a fuel additive and a green fuel. It can be produced from lignocellulosic biomass and its derivatives, such as methyl levulinate (ML) via catalytic hydrogenation reaction. In this work, novel hybrid materials of Ni nanoparticles and single-walled carbon nanohorns (Ni/CNHs) synthesized from gas-injected arc-in-water (GI-AIW) method was used as catalysts for producing GVL from ML. Effect of surface modification, oxidation and reduction of Ni/CNHs on their catalytic activity was investigated. For comparison of catalytic activities, Ni on other carbon supports prepared by the conventional wet impregnation and unsupported Ni catalysts were examined. X-ray diffractometry (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), N-2 sorption, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Hydrogen-temperatureprogrammed reduction (H-2-TPR), and Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy were employed for elucidating different characteristics of all examined catalysts. It was found that reduced oxidized Ni/CNHs exhibited the highest catalytic performance with 96% conversion of ML, 90% yield, and 93% selectivity of GVL. (C) 2018 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.