Toward the Rational Design of More Efficient Mo2C Catalysts for Hydrodeoxygenation–Mechanism and Descriptor Identification

Raghavendra Meena, Harry Bitter, Han Zuilhof, Guanna Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Viable alternatives to scarce and expensive noble-metal-based catalysts are transition-metal carbides such as Mo and W carbides. It has been shown that these are active and selective catalysts in the hydrodeoxygenation of renewable lipid-based feedstocks. However, the reaction mechanism and the structure–activity relationship of these transition-metal carbides have not yet been fully clarified. In this work, the reaction mechanism of butyric acid hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) over molybdenum carbide (Mo2C) has been studied comprehensively by means of density functional theory coupled with microkinetic modeling. We identified the rate-determining step to be butanol dissociation: C4H9*OH + * → C4H9* + *OH. Then we further explored the possibility to facilitate this step upon heteroatom doping and found that Zr- and Nb-doped Mo2C are the most promising catalysts with enhanced HDO catalytic activity. Linear-scaling relationships were established between the electronic and geometrical descriptors of the dopants and the catalytic performance of various doped Mo2C catalysts. It was demonstrated that descriptors such as dopants’ d-band filling and atomic radius play key roles in governing the catalytic activity. This fundamental understanding delivers practical strategies for the rational design of Mo2C-based transition-metal carbide catalysts with improved HDO performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13446-13455
JournalACS Catalysis
Volume13
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023

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