Bio-oil upgrading over platinum catalysts using in situ generated hydrogen

Courtney A. Fisk, Tonya Morgan, Yaying Ji, Mark Crocker, Czarena Crofcheck, Sam A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


The liquid phase upgrading of a model bio-oil was studied over a series of supported Pt catalysts. Pt/Al2O3 showed the highest activity for deoxygenation, the oxygen content of the model oil decreasing from an initial value of 41.4 wt% to 2.8 wt% after upgrading. GC-MS analysis of the oil showed it to be highly aromatic, the major components corresponding to alkyl-substituted benzenes and cyclohexanes. CO2 was formed as the major gaseous product, together with lower yields of H2 and C1-C6 hydrocarbons. Based on the product distribution, a reaction scheme is proposed in which light oxygenates predominantly undergo reforming to CO2 and H2, with C-O bond breaking/hydrogenation (to afford alkanes) as a minor pathway. In a parallel process, aromatics undergo C-O cleavage/hydrogenation, affording benzenes and cyclohexanes. The highly alkylated nature of the products appears to be a consequence of the acidic nature of the reaction medium, favoring the occurrence of aromatic electrophilic substitution reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Gerald Thomas for performing the XRD and XRF measurements, Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez for HRTEM analyses, and Dr. John Storey for helpful discussions. Financial support from the Kentucky Rural Energy Consortium is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Bio-oil
  • Catalyst
  • Platinum
  • Pyrolysis
  • Upgrading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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