Temperature-Programmed Deoxygenation of Acetic Acid on Molybdenum Carbide Catalysts

Jesse Hensley, Connor Nash, Carrie Farberow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Temperature programmed reaction (TPRxn) is a simple yet powerful tool for screening solid catalyst performance at a variety of conditions. A TPRxn system includes a reactor, furnace, gas and vapor sources, flow control, instrumentation to quantify reaction products (e.g., gas chromatograph), and instrumentation to monitor the reaction in real time (e.g., mass spectrometer). Here, we apply the TPRxn methodology to study molybdenum carbide catalysts for the deoxygenation of acetic acid, an important reaction among many in the upgrading/stabilization of biomass pyrolysis vapors. TPRxn is used to evaluate catalyst activity and selectivity and to test hypothetical reaction pathways (e.g., decarbonylation, ketonization, and hydrogenation). The results of the TPRxn study of acetic acid deoxygenation show that molybdenum carbide is an active catalyst for this reaction at temperatures above ca. 300 °C and that the reaction favors deoxygenation (i.e., C-O bond-breaking) products at temperatures below ca. 400 °C and decarbonylation (i.e., C-C bond-breaking) products at temperatures above ca. 400 °C.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere55314
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number120
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Journal of Visualized Experiments.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-66811


  • Acetic acid
  • Catalyst
  • Chemistry
  • Gas chromatography
  • Issue 120
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Micro-scale
  • Model compound
  • Molybdenum carbide
  • Reactor
  • Temperature-programmed reaction
  • Upgrading


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