Methyl Ketone Condensation over Tailored Metal Oxides

Derek Vardon, Xiangchen Huo, Gregg Beckham, Davis Conklin, Allyson York, Ryan Richards, Mingxia Zhou, Peter Metz, Rajeez Assary, Katharine Page, Zhenglong Li, Vassili Vorotnikov

Research output: NRELPresentation


Methyl ketones represent promising oxygenate intermediates that can be derived from lignocellulosic biomass via numerous conversion routes and subsequently coupled to produce precursors for renewable diesel and aviation fuels. Basic metal oxides are known to promote ketone coupling via condensation reactions, with magnesium oxide (MgO) providing an ideal catalytic system for evaluating the reaction mechanism and role of water on observed activity. Recent studies demonstrate that the MgO(111) surface facet can be promoted to enhance activity for base catalyzed reactions; however, to our knowledge, there is a dearth of information regarding the impact of MgO(111) faceting and surface termination under reaction conditions for ketone coupling. Therefore, this talk will discuss our recent investigation into the catalytic coupling of methyl ketones over MgO(100) and MgO(111) catalysts. Results will be presented that address the synthesis and detailed characterization of MgO(111) nanosheets, as well as their activity and selectivity for ketone coupling when compared to MgO(100). The impact of water on MgO surface termination will be discussed, as well as a proposed reaction mechanism for ketone condensation over clean and hydroxyl terminated surfaces for both facets. Findings will include outcomes from experimental studies, computational modeling, and advanced surface characterization by neutron scattering. Collectively, this work provides further insight into the role of tailored metal oxide catalysts for this important class of biomass conversion chemistry.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePresented at the ACS Fall National Meeting 2019, 26-27 August 2019, San Diego, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-75017


  • aviation fuels
  • biofuels
  • biomass
  • lignocellulosic biomass
  • magnesium oxide
  • metal oxide catalyst
  • methyl ketones
  • oxygenate intermediates
  • renewable diesel


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