Catalytic Hydrotreatment of Humins in Mixtures of Formic Acid/2-Propanol with Supported Ruthenium Catalysts

Yuehu Wang, Shilpa Agarwal, Arjan Kloekhorst, Hero Jan Heeres*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


The catalytic hydrotreatment of humins, which are the solid byproducts from the conversion of C6 sugars (glucose, fructose) into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and levulinic acid (LA), by using supported ruthenium catalysts has been investigated. Reactions were carried out in a batch setup at elevated temperatures (400 °C) by using a hydrogen donor (formic acid (FA) in isopropanol (IPA) or hydrogen gas), with humins obtained from d-glucose. Humin conversions of up to 69 % were achieved with Ru/C and FA, whereas the performance for Ru on alumina was slightly poorer (59 % humin conversion). Humin oils were characterized by using a range of analytical techniques (GC, GC-MS, GCxGC, gel permeation chromatography) and were shown to consist of monomers, mainly alkyl phenolics (>45 % based on compounds detectable by GC) and higher oligomers. A reaction network for the reaction is proposed based on structural proposals for humins and the main reaction products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-961
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 10-May-2016


  • biomass
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • ruthenium
  • supported catalysts
  • synthesis design

Cite this