Activity and stability of Mo2C/ZrO2 as catalyst for hydrodeoxygenation of mixtures of phenol and 1-octanol

Peter Mølgaard Mortensen, Hudson W.P. de Carvalho, Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt, Peter Arendt Jensen, Anker Degn Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Mo2C/ZrO2 was investigated as catalyst for hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of phenol in 1-octanol as a simplified bio-oil model system in a fixed-bed setup at 100bar. Mo2C/ZrO2 selectively converted phenol to benzene above 320°C. During long-term testing, limited stability of the catalyst was observed, with the conversion of 1-octanol and phenol decreasing from 70% to 37% and from 37% to 19%, respectively, over 76h of operation. Repeating the experiment but also co-feeding 30% water, the catalyst deactivated completely within 12h of operation. Thermodynamic calculations and in situ XRD analysis showed that Mo2C is transformed to MoO2 in the presence of water at the given conditions, and this was probably the source of deactivation in the experiments. Thus, Mo2C-based catalyst for HDO seems interesting, but requires further stabilization or regeneration of the carbide phase as bio-oil contains high levels of water and water is a by-product during HDO.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Pages (from-to)208-215
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Bio-oil
  • Carbides
  • Deactivation
  • Hydrodeoxygenation
  • In situ XRD and XAS
  • Water

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