Revealing the factors determining the selectivity of guaiacol HDO reaction pathways using ZrP-supported Co and Ni catalysts

Geun Ho Han, Min Woo Lee, Soohyung Park, Ho Joong Kim, Jae Pyoung Ahn, Myung gi Seo, Kwan Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Guaiacol, a primary chemical derived from lignin, is still an attractive candidate as a cyclical carbon source in the petroleum industry. This work newly introduced Co/ZrP and Ni/ZrP catalysts and examined their activity for guaiacol hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) in a batch reactor at 573 K and under 70 bar of H2. Their catalytic, surface and textural properties were investigated by XRD, N2 adsorption-desorption, H2-TPR, H2-TPD, NH3-TPD, HAADF-STEM and H2-chemisorption. In addition, the overall reaction pathways of guaiacol to cyclohexane on Co/ZrP and Ni/ZrP were proposed. Guaiacol was converted to cyclohexane through two different pathways via two major intermediates: phenol (demethoxylation, PHE route) and 2-methoxycyclohexanol (hydrogenation, 2-M route). Co/ZrP preferred the PHE-route, while Ni/ZrP dominantly favored the 2-M-route, which resulted in a high cyclohexane yield when using Co/ZrP (76%). In this study, an ‘intrinsic H2 supply’ was determined to be the main factor for selecting the reaction pathway. Co/ZrP, with a low intrinsic H2 supply capacity, promoted a less H2-consuming pathway (PHE route), and Ni/ZrP, with a high intrinsic H2 supply, favored the more H2-consuming 2-M route. Likewise, lowering the H2 pressure (from 70 to 40 bar) could promote the PHE route and increase cyclohexane production (80%). However, the opposite trend was observed when the reaction temperature was reduced from 573 K to 523 K. For both Co/ZrP and Ni/ZrP catalysts, the production of PHE significantly decreased, while the same yield of 2-M was almost maintained. Thus, the pathway preference of Co/ZrP was reversed to the 2-M-route. Guaiacol HDO pathway preference over Co/ZrP and Ni/ZrP catalysts was characterized and the reaction conditions were investigated in this study, which could provide a guideline for effective ways to produce desired chemicals from guaiacol using Co/ZrP and Ni/ZrP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-357
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept


  • Co/ZrP
  • Guaiacol
  • Hydrodeoxygenation
  • Ni/ZrP
  • Reaction pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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