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Catalysts 2015, 5(1), 406-423; doi:10.3390/catal5010406

Structural Evolution of Molybdenum Carbides in Hot Aqueous Environments and Impact on Low-Temperature Hydroprocessing of Acetic Acid

1
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
2
University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, 2540 Research Park Drive, Lexington KY 40511, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Keith Hohn
Received: 8 January 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 6 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers to Celebrate the Landmarks of Catalysts)
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Abstract

We investigated the structural evolution of molybdenum carbides subjected to hot aqueous environments and their catalytic performance in low-temperature hydroprocessing of acetic acid. While bulk structures of Mo carbides were maintained after aging in hot liquid water, a portion of carbidic Mo sites were converted to oxidic sites. Water aging also induced changes to the non-carbidic carbon deposited during carbide synthesis and increased surface roughness, which in turn affected carbide pore volume and surface area. The extent of these structural changes was sensitive to the initial carbide structure and was lower under actual hydroprocessing conditions indicating the possibility of further improving the hydrothermal stability of Mo carbides by optimizing catalyst structure and operating conditions. Mo carbides were active in acetic acid conversion in the presence of liquid water, their activity being comparable to that of Ru/C. The results suggest that effective and inexpensive bio-oil hydroprocessing catalysts could be designed based on Mo carbides, although a more detailed understanding of the structure-performance relationships is needed, especially in upgrading of more complex reaction mixtures or real bio-oils. View Full-Text
Keywords: molybdenum carbide; Mo2C; biomass; bio-oil; pyrolysis oil; hydroprocessing; acetic acid hydrogenation; heterogeneous catalysis molybdenum carbide; Mo2C; biomass; bio-oil; pyrolysis oil; hydroprocessing; acetic acid hydrogenation; heterogeneous catalysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Choi, J.-S.; Schwartz, V.; Santillan-Jimenez, E.; Crocker, M.; Lewis, S.A., Sr.; Lance, M.J.; Meyer, H.M., III; More, K.L. Structural Evolution of Molybdenum Carbides in Hot Aqueous Environments and Impact on Low-Temperature Hydroprocessing of Acetic Acid. Catalysts 2015, 5, 406-423.

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