The catalytic hydrogenation of lignin-derived monophenols with high efficiency and selectivity is important for the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. Here, Pd/γ-Al2
was prepared via impregnation and used as catalyst for the hydrogenation of phenols to cyclohexanols under mild conditions in aqueous solution. 3 wt. % Pd/γ-Al2
exhibited good catalytic activity for the selective hydrogenation of 4-ethylphenol into 4-ethylcyclohexanol, and a conversion of 100% with selectivity of 98.9% was achieved at 60 °C for 12 h. Other lignin-derived monophenolic model compounds such as 4-methyl phenol and 4-propyl phenol could be hydrogenated into cyclohexanols selectively under optimal conditions. Moreover, the Pd/γ-Al2
catalyst displayed good activity for the hydrogenation of the mixture of monophenols directly derived from raw biomass system to cyclohexanols as the main products, and was favorable for the depolymerization of lignin oligomers under milder conditions. Pd/γ-Al2
catalyst showed good water resistance and stability after recycling four times. This result might provide a promising approach to selectively producing cyclohexanol directly from raw biomass material under mild conditions in aqueous solutions.
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