Understanding the mechanism of catalytic fast pyrolysis by unveiling reactive intermediates in heterogeneous catalysis
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Catalytic fast pyrolysis is a promising way to convert lignin into fine chemicals and fuels, but current approaches lack selectivity and yield unsatisfactory conversion. Understanding the pyrolysis reaction mechanism at the molecular level may help to make this sustainable process more economic. Reactive intermediates are responsible for product branching and hold the key to unveiling these mechanisms, but are notoriously difficult to detect isomer-selectively. Here, we investigate the catalytic pyrolysis of guaiacol, a lignin model compound, using photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation, which allows for isomer-selective detection of reactive intermediates. In combination with ambient pressure pyrolysis, we identify fulvenone as the central reactive intermediate, generated by catalytic demethylation to catechol and subsequent dehydration. The fulvenone ketene is responsible for the phenol formation. This technique may open unique opportunities for isomer-resolved probing in catalysis, and holds the potential for achieving a mechanistic understanding of complex, real-life catalytic processes. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Organisational unit03746 - Van Bokhoven, Jeroen A. / Van Bokhoven, Jeroen A.
136892 - Understanding and manipulating free radicals in lignin for a controlled depolymerization to chemicals (SNF)
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