Pd-Au bimetallic catalysts with different Pd/Au atomic ratios, supported on ordered structured silica (Hexagonal mesoporous silica—HMS, or Santa Barbara Amorphous-15—SBA-15) were evaluated for one-pot hydrogenation of furfural to 1,2-pentanediol. The surface and structural properties of the catalysts were deeply investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2
adsorption isotherms (BET), Infrared spectroscopy (IR), and acid capacity measurements. XPS studies revealed that Ti doped supports had higher dispersion of the active phase, particularly in the case of Pd-Au materials in which Ti played an important role in stabilizing the metallic species. Among the various process conditions studied, such as temperature (160 °C), catalyst amount (10% w
), and reaction time (5 h), H2
pressure (500 psi) was found to improve the 1,2-pentanediol selectivity. The SBA silica bimetallic Ti-doped system showed the best performance in terms of stability and reusability, after multiple cycles. Under specific reaction conditions, the synergism between Pd-Au alloy and Ti doping of the support allowed the ring opening pathway towards the formation of 1,2-pentanediol in furfural hydrogenation.
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