A porous phosphate heterostructure (PPHs) formed by a layered zirconium(IV) phosphate expanded with silica galleries was prepared presenting a P/Zr molar ratio equal to 2 and a (Si + Zr)/P ratio equal to 3. This pillared zirconium phosphate heterostructure was used as a catalyst support for bi-functional catalysts based on noble metals (Pt or Pd) and molybdenum oxide containing a total metallic loading of 2 wt % and Pt(Pd)/Mo molar ratio equal to 1. The catalysts prepared were characterized by different experimental techniques and evaluated in the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) reaction of dibenzofuran (DBF) as a model compound present in biomass derived bio-oil, at different reaction pressures. The catalyst characterization evidenced that a high dispersion of the active phase can be achieved by using these materials, as observed from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characterization, where the presence of small particles in the nanometric scale is noticeable. Moreover, the textural and acidic properties of the phosphate heterostructure are barely affected by the incorporation of metals into its structure. Characterization results evidenced that the presented material is a good candidate to be used as a material support. In both cases, high conversions and high selectivities to deoxygenated compounds were achieved and the active phase played an important role. Thus, Pt/Mo presented a better hydrogenolysis capability, being more selective to O-free products; whereas, Pd/Mo showed a greater hydrogenation ability being more affected by changes in pressure conditions.
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