Despite the interest in niobia-based catalysts and the importance of biomass valorisation, studies on these catalysts typically utilize model substrates like simple sugars. In this study, a series of niobium oxide-based catalysts was prepared for the application in aqueous phase catalytic conversion of sugars extracted from Chlorella sp. microalga into value-added furans. The solid catalysts were firstly characterized by various techniques including X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopy as well as low-temperature N2 physisorption. Moreover, the acidity of the catalysts was assessed by using the temperature-programmed NH3 desorption (NH3-TPD), by titration of water suspended catalyst with NaOH solution, and by P-bearing molecular probes loaded catalysts through 31P and 1H solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. Herein, we focused on the catalytic transformation of Chlorella sp. and glucose solution as model molecule into furans. The best Nb2O5 catalysts for valorizing Chlorella sp. into furans exhibited a larger number of Brønsted acid sites, achieving conversion yields to 5-HMF and furfural of ca. 20–22 % with respect to the extracted sugars from algae. The results showed a discernible dependence of the conversion yields to 5-HMF and furfural on catalyst acidity, specific surface area, and the presence of the Brønsted acid sites. Conversely, when using the glucose solution as substrate is concerning, the highest yield to 5-HMF was reached by using a catalyst that showed also the presence of Lewis acid sites. A systematic investigation of the structure–activity relationships in niobium oxide application for aqueous phase dehydration using real biomass substrates to obtain furanic derivatives has not been documented thus far. Therefore, the current research is significant as it demonstrates the feasibility of transforming the carbohydrate content in microalgal biomass into furans by identifying the best catalyst to use.

Lima S., Garcia-Lopez E.I., Krivtsov I., Ilkaeva M., Bornes C., Mafra L., et al. (2024). Valorisation of microalga Chlorella sp. into furans in the presence of Nb2O5 catalysts. JOURNAL OF CATALYSIS, 433 [10.1016/j.jcat.2024.115457].

Valorisation of microalga Chlorella sp. into furans in the presence of Nb2O5 catalysts

Lima S.;Garcia-Lopez E. I.;Liotta L. F.;Marci' G.
;
Scargiali F.
2024-05-01

Abstract

Despite the interest in niobia-based catalysts and the importance of biomass valorisation, studies on these catalysts typically utilize model substrates like simple sugars. In this study, a series of niobium oxide-based catalysts was prepared for the application in aqueous phase catalytic conversion of sugars extracted from Chlorella sp. microalga into value-added furans. The solid catalysts were firstly characterized by various techniques including X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopy as well as low-temperature N2 physisorption. Moreover, the acidity of the catalysts was assessed by using the temperature-programmed NH3 desorption (NH3-TPD), by titration of water suspended catalyst with NaOH solution, and by P-bearing molecular probes loaded catalysts through 31P and 1H solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. Herein, we focused on the catalytic transformation of Chlorella sp. and glucose solution as model molecule into furans. The best Nb2O5 catalysts for valorizing Chlorella sp. into furans exhibited a larger number of Brønsted acid sites, achieving conversion yields to 5-HMF and furfural of ca. 20–22 % with respect to the extracted sugars from algae. The results showed a discernible dependence of the conversion yields to 5-HMF and furfural on catalyst acidity, specific surface area, and the presence of the Brønsted acid sites. Conversely, when using the glucose solution as substrate is concerning, the highest yield to 5-HMF was reached by using a catalyst that showed also the presence of Lewis acid sites. A systematic investigation of the structure–activity relationships in niobium oxide application for aqueous phase dehydration using real biomass substrates to obtain furanic derivatives has not been documented thus far. Therefore, the current research is significant as it demonstrates the feasibility of transforming the carbohydrate content in microalgal biomass into furans by identifying the best catalyst to use.
mag-2024
Settore CHIM/07 - Fondamenti Chimici Delle Tecnologie
Settore ING-IND/25 - Impianti Chimici
Lima S., Garcia-Lopez E.I., Krivtsov I., Ilkaeva M., Bornes C., Mafra L., et al. (2024). Valorisation of microalga Chlorella sp. into furans in the presence of Nb2O5 catalysts. JOURNAL OF CATALYSIS, 433 [10.1016/j.jcat.2024.115457].
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Lima_JCAT_2024.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: paper
Tipologia: Versione Editoriale
Dimensione 4.8 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.8 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/632954
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact