Metal/acid bifunctional catalysts for the reductive catalytic fractionation of lignocellulose into phenols and holocellulose

Shinyoung Oh, Sangseo Gu, Jae Wook Choi, Dong Jin Suh, Hyunjoo Lee, Chang Soo Kim, Kwang Ho Kim, Chun Jae Yoo, Jungkyu Choi, Jeong Myeong Ha

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Mongolian oak (MO), a lignocellulosic biomass feedstock comprising lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose, was fractionated via reductive catalytic fractionation (RCF) into holocellulose-rich solid residue and lignin-derived phenol-rich liquid oil. To achieve an economically feasible RCF process, tungstate-zirconia (WZr)-supported metal catalysts, exhibiting bifunctionalities of hydrogen-adsorbing metal and acidic WZr, were used for depolymerizing and valorizing lignocellulose, and their catalytic activity was found to be highly dependent on the deposited metal. Ru/WZr exhibited excellent fractioning ability, achieving a maximum yield of 23.6 wt% of monomeric and dimeric compounds from MO and exhibiting the potential to be techno-economically viable. The superior activity of Ru/WZr can be attributed to the synergistic effects of metal and acid, which were studied by investigating the product distributions of aromatic small molecules depending on the properties of WZr-supported metal catalysts. The stabilization of reactive radical intermediates depending on the surface Brønsted acidity of acid catalysts and hydrogen-adsorbing ability of metals were also investigated. RCF reaction conditions were optimized for the maximum yield of monomeric compounds, which can be beneficial for the further development of industrial processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108085
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Change of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT of Republic of Korea ( NRF-2020M1A2A2079798 ). This work was also supported by the Technology Innovation Program ( KEIT-20015401 ; NTIS-1415180841 ) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Republic of Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors.


  • Bifunctional catalyst
  • Lignocellulose
  • Reductive catalytic fractionation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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