, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 2259–2272 | Cite as

Hydrolytic hydrogenation of cellulose to ethylene glycol over carbon nanotubes supported Ru–W bimetallic catalysts

  • Lucília S. Ribeiro
  • Joana Órfão
  • José J. de Melo Órfão
  • M. Fernando R. Pereira
Original Paper


Ru and W mono- and bimetallic catalysts supported on carbon nanotubes were prepared and characterized by different techniques. The prepared catalysts were then tested for the one-pot conversion of cellulose to ethylene glycol. The influence of several factors, such as nature of metal, metal loading, amount of catalyst, catalytic support, hydrogen pressure, reaction temperature and stirring rate, was investigated. When Ru was incorporated into the supported tungsten catalyst a promoting effect was observed, with a great increase in the yield of ethylene glycol, which was explained by the interaction between both metals. The results showed that cellulose could be efficiently converted into ethylene glycol with a yield of 40% after just 3 h of reaction using 0.8%Ru–30%W/CNT as catalyst, at a temperature of 205 °C and H2 pressure of 50 bar. Moreover, the catalyst showed good stability after repeated use, at least up to four cycles, and no tungsten leaching to solution was observed.

Graphical Abstract


Hydrolytic hydrogenation Cellulose Ethylene glycol Carbon nanotubes Ru–W catalysts 



This work is a result of project “AIProcMat@N2020—Advanced Industrial Processes and Materials for a Sustainable Northern Region of Portugal 2020”, with the reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000006, supported by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and of Project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006984—Associate Laboratory LSRE-LCM funded by ERDF through COMPETE2020—Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI)—and by national funds through FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10570_2018_1721_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (433 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 433 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratório de Processos de Separação e Reação - Laboratório de Catálise e Materiais (LSRE-LCM), Faculdade de EngenhariaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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