One-pot conversion of cellulose into n -hexane over the Ir-ReO x/SiO2 catalyst combined with HZSM-5

Sibao Liu, Masazumi Tamura, Yoshinao Nakagawa, Keiichi Tomishige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


One-pot conversion of cellulose to n-hexane was carried out over the Ir-ReOx/SiO2 (Re/Ir = 2) catalyst combined with HZSM-5 as cocatalyst in a biphasic reaction system (n-dodecane + H2O). The yield of n-hexane reached 83% from ball-milled cellulose and 78% from microcrystalline cellulose. Even using a high weight ratio of cellulose to water (1:1), a 71% yield of n-hexane could be obtained from ball-milled cellulose. The yield of n-hexane was almost maintained during three repeated tests when the catalyst was calcined again. The transformation of cellulose to n-hexane consists of the hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose via water-soluble oligosaccharides, hydrogenation of glucose to sorbitol, and successive hydrogenolysis of sorbitol to n-hexane. The Ir-ReOx/SiO2 catalyst promotes a hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis step. HZSM-5 enhanced the hydrolysis of cellulose in hot water and C-O bond hydrogenolysis activity of the Ir-ReOx/SiO2 catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1819-1827
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 7


  • Cellulose
  • Hydrogenolysis
  • Iridium
  • Zeolite
  • n -Hexane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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