Herein, we report the synthesis of a highly active and mesoporous Brønsted acidic NbOPO4/SBA-15 catalyst. The prepared catalysts were thoroughly characterized by means of analytical techniques such as XRD, FT-IR, XPS, NH3-TPD, SEM-EDS, TEM, TGA, 31P-MAS-NMR and N2-physisorption. The H3PO4 free deposition method was found to be effective for preserving the structure of Silica based carrier. In terms of catalytic performance, these materials demonstrated high activity upon C-C coupling of 2-methyl furan with carbonyl compounds and outperforming bulk NbOPO4, Nb2O5/SBA-15 and traditional solid acid catalysts (Al-MCM-41, Si/Al and H-ZSM-5). The NbOPO4/SBA-15 catalysts were stable and maintained high activity upon reuse and continuous operation (∼65 h). Furthermore, the Pd loaded counterparts (Pd/NbOPO4/SBA-15 and Pd/Nb2O5/SBA-15) also functioned as bifunctional catalysts and exhibited excellent activity upon subsequent hydrodeoxygenation of C-C coupling products. Most importantly, in terms of jet-fuel range hydrocarbons selectivity, these catalysts outperformed monofunctional Pd/carbon and aluminosilicate based bifunctional catalysts.
- C-C coupling
- Mesoporous NbOPO
- Supported solid acid catalysts