Hydrodeoxygenation of m-Cresol Over Pt-WOx/C Using H2 Generated In Situ by n-Hexane Dehydrogenation

  • Cong Wang
  • Gerhard R. Wittreich
  • Chao Lin
  • Renjing Huang
  • Dionisios G. Vlachos
  • Raymond J. GorteEmail author


Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of m-cresol using H2 produced by dehydrogenation of n-hexane to hexenes is demonstrated at 673 K over a Pt-WOx/C catalyst at 36 bar. The reaction is possible because deactivation of Pt/C during n-hexane dehydrogenation is greatly suppressed at higher pressures. Flow-reactor measurements of pure n-hexane over Pt/C showed rapid deactivation at 1 bar and 773 K but the catalyst was stable for at least 5 h at 36 bar. While the Pt/C catalyst showed poor activity for HDO of m-cresol, the Pt-WOx/C catalyst was able to utilize the H2 to selectively catalyze m-cresol to toluene, simultaneously pushing the conversion of n-hexane above the equilibrium value that would be achieved in the absence of H2 consumption. To explain the increased stability for alkane dehydrogenation at higher pressures, a microkinetic model of propane dehydrogenation, a surrogate of hexane, was analyzed. The model demonstrates that the coverage of vacancies increases with increasing pressure at the expense of species believed to be coke precursors.

Graphic Abstract


Hydrodeoxygenation Dehydrogenation Hydrogen donor m-Cresol n-Hexane Pt 



We acknowledge support from the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award No. DE-SC0001004.


Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award No. DE-SC0001004.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cong Wang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Gerhard R. Wittreich
    • 3
    • 4
  • Chao Lin
    • 1
  • Renjing Huang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Dionisios G. Vlachos
    • 3
    • 4
  • Raymond J. Gorte
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Catalysis Center for Energy InnovationNewarkUSA

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