Interdependence of Solvent and Catalyst Selection on Low Pressure Hydrogen-Free Reductive Catalytic Fractionation

Gregory Facas, David Brandner, Jeremy Bussard, Yuriy Roman-Leshkov, Gregg Beckham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


Hydrogen-free reductive catalytic fractionation (RCF) is a promising method to produce aromatic compounds directly from native biomass without the use of external hydrogen gas. In this work, we show that by using high boiling point diols as a solvent in hydrogen-free RCF, reaction pressures can be reduced by an order of magnitude compared to conventional RCF with methanol and hydrogen gas, while still producing appreciable aromatic monomer yields. Importantly, the use of diols with secondary alcohol functional groups increases hydrogenation activity on Ru/C, Pt/C, and Ni/C, measured by the yield of aromatic compounds with saturated propyl side chains, compared to processing in ethylene glycol, indicating that the choice of solvent and catalyst together can be tuned to control product selectivity of aromatic monomers in RCF.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4517-4522
Number of pages6
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2A00-84887


  • Lignin
  • lignin valorization
  • lignin-first biorefining
  • transfer hydrogenation


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