Consecutive hydroconversion of acetic acid (AA) to ethanol was compared over monometallic and novel bimetallic (containing In as guest metal) catalysts on alumina and silica supports (inter alia highly ordered SBA-15) of different porosity and pore structure. The transformation was studied in a fixed bed, flow-through reactor in the temperature range of 220–380°C using hydrogen flow at 21 bar total pressure. AA hydroconversion activity of Cu and Pt catalysts and the yield of selectively produced alcohol were increased drastically by applying SBA-15 as highly ordered, mesoporous silica support instead of alumina. The most active nickel catalysts do not allow the selective addition of hydrogen to carbon-oxygen bonds independently of supports producing mainly CH4; however, indium doping can completely eliminate the hydrodecarbonylation activity as found in earlier studies. The textural properties of studied silica supports of various textures such as SBA-15, CAB-O-SIL, and Grace Sylobead have a profound impact on the catalytic performance of Ni and Ni2In particles.
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