Assessing the Role of Interfacial and Metal Sites in Pt/TiO2-Catalyzed Acetic Acid Hydrodeoxygenation

Sean Tacey, Carrie Farberow

Research output: NRELPoster


Thermochemical conversion of biomass to produce drop-in quality biofuels typically involves hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) steps following catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) to remove excess oxygen and create a more stable bio-oil product. HDO involves co-feeding the CFP vapor-phase product and H2 gas over a bi-functional catalyst. Reducible metal oxide-supported noble-metal catalysts (e.g., Pt/TiO2) are promising materials for HDO chemistry, with recent work aiming to elucidate the role of various Pt/TiO2 actives sites (i.e., Pt-metal, TiO2-support, Pt-TiO2-interfacial sites) in the competing desired deoxygenation and undesired decarboxylation/decarbonylation reactions for important classes of CFP vapor model compounds. Carboxylic acids are one important class of bio-derived compounds that has not been studied extensively for HDO on Pt/TiO2, particularly at the atomic level. Past experimental work evaluating Pt/C and Pt/TiO2 catalysts for acetic acid HDO (AA-HDO) demonstrated selectivity toward C-C and C-O bond-dissociation products, respectively. This work utilizes atomic-scale modeling to discern the role of Pt-metal and Pt-TiO2-interfacial sites in promoting key C-C bond-breaking, C-O bond-breaking, and (de)hydrogenation steps in AA-HDO. Using Pt(111) and Pt-TiO2-interface surface models, adsorption and reaction energetics calculated by density functional theory provide fundamental insights into the role of interfacial sites and oxygen vacancies in promoting desired deoxygenation pathways over undesired decarboxylation/decarbonylation pathways.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2022 Rocky Mountain Catalysis Society Symposium, 22 April 2022, Golden, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5100-82620


  • catalytic fast pyrolysis
  • density functional theory
  • hydrodeoxygenation
  • Pt/TiO2


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