Assessing the Role of the Support in Acetic Acid Hydrodeoxygenation Selectivity on Pt/TiO2

Research output: NRELPresentation


To produce drop-in quality biofuels following the thermochemical conversion of biomass via catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP), hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) reactions can be performed to remove excess oxygen and create a more stable bio-oil product. HDO reactions involve co-feeding the CFP vapor-phase product and H2 gas over bi-functional catalysts, such as noble-metal catalysts supported on reducible metal oxides (e.g., Pt/TiO2). Recent model-compound studies, focusing on important classes of species in the CFP vapor mixture, have sought to determine the role of the various Pt/TiO2 actives sites (i.e., Pt-metal, TiO2-support, Pt-TiO2-interfacial sites) in producing the observed desired deoxygenation and undesired decarboxylation/decarbonylation products. One important class of compounds in the CFP vapor-phase product is carboxylic acids (e.g., acetic acid). Prior experimental work on acetic acid HDO (AA-HDO) found that Pt/C and Pt/TiO2 catalysts favored the formation of undesired C-C and desired C-O bond-dissociation products; however, the fundamental surface chemistry driving this shift in selectivity has not been established. This presentation employs atomic-scale modeling to determine, through comparisons of adsorption and reaction energetics, how Pt-metal, Pt-TiO2-interface, and interfacial-vacancy sites catalyze the competing reaction pathways for AA-HDO. Our analysis indicates that hydroxyl vacancies at the Pt-TiO2 interface are critical for lowering barriers for C-O bond-cleavage steps, such that they become favorable/competitive with respect to C-C bond-dissociation steps.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the ACS Fall 2021 Meeting, 22-26 August 2021, Atlanta, Georgia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-80720


  • catalytic fast pyrolysis
  • density functional theory
  • interfacial catalysis
  • minimum energy pathway
  • vacancy sites


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