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Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol.260, 2020
Selective production of ethylbenzene from lignin oil over FeOx modified Ru/Nb2O5 catalyst
Lignin is the only large-volume source of aromatic chemicals and its valorization is of great importance. Herein, we designed an efficient FeOx modified Ru/Nb2O5 catalyst for the highly selective production of ethylbenzene from birch lignin oil (BLO) through the integration of dehydrogenative decarbonylation (DHDC) and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) processes. Compared with Ru/Nb2O5 catalyst, RuFe/Nb2O5 exhibited higher selectivity (or distribution) of ethylbenzene from both lignin model compound (78.5%) and BLO (63.4%). Various characterizations showed that the introduction of FeOx species decreased the ratio of metallic Ru species that restrained the direct hydrogenolysis of C-propanol-O bonds and enhanced the DHDC process. Moreover, the modification of FeOx enhanced the oxygen vacancies on the surface of Nb2O5, thus promoting the cleavage of C-aromatic-O bonds. Both effects led to the highly selective production of ethylbenzene. Moreover, the rational design of RuFe/Nb2O5 catalyst provides a promising approach for the production of ethylbenzene from biomass resources.