Hydrodeoxygenation of the aqueous fraction of bio-oil with Ru/C and Pt/C catalysts

Aimaro Sanna, Tushar P. Vispute, George W. Huber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)
331 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we discuss the continuous flow hydrogenation of the water soluble fraction of bio-oil (WSBO) with Ru/C and Pt/C catalysts. Temparatures higher then 125°C lead to homogeneous reactions within the aqueous phase of bio-oil. Low temperature hydrogenation (LTH) at 125°C over Ru/C catalyst and with WHSV of 1.5-3h-1 was required to stabilize the bio-oil so higher temperature hydrogenation (HTH) could occur. The main products from LTH were ethylene and propylene glycols and sorbitol. At these temperatures only small amounts of acetic acid (AA), levoglucosan, furanone, phenol and phenol substitutes were hydrogenated. In the HTH step, the sorbitol was hydrogenated to mono-alcohols and diols by hydrogenolysis and secondary hydrogenation reactions. Up to 45% carbon in WSBO was converted to useful products (gasoline-cuts and diols) in the HTH step over Pt/C catalyst at 250°C and WHSV of 3h-1. The reactions product distribution can be controlled by modifying operating pressure and temperature. The production of gasoline range compounds (C4-C6 alkanes and C1-C6 alcohols) is favoured at low pressure (750psi). Increasing the reaction pressure decreased the amount of carbon that was converted into gas phase products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-456
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • Aqueous phase processing
  • Bio-chemicals
  • Bio-gasoline
  • Bio-oil upgrading
  • Hydro-treating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Environmental Science


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