Preparation of activated carbon as support of nickel catalyst for Guerbet reaction

Krittanun Deekamwong, Supunnee Junpirom and Jatuporn Wittayakun* 

J. Sci. Agri. Technol. (2020) Vol. 1 (1): 33-39


This work aims to prepare activated carbon from charcoal from the wood of Muntingia calabura Linn. and employ as support for nickel catalyst. The charcoal was obtained from an Iwasaki kiln and activated by CO2. Then, the surface of activated carbon was modified by air zero to create acid functional groups. The polyaromatic-like structure and functional groups of the activated carbon were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and elemental analysis. The thermal stability was carried out by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The surface areas of the samples were determined by Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) from N2 adsorption-desorption analysis. The activated carbon after modification had higher acid functional groups than the parent charcoal. The BET surface area decreased after modification, but the thermal stability did not change after CO2 treatment. After impregnated with nickel precursor, the phases of the catalyst were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Nickel nanoparticles were produced on activated carbon. The catalytic screening of Guerbet reaction to produce n-butanol from ethanol conversion was performed under autogeneous pressure at 240 °C for 6 h. The nickel supported on activated carbon showed higher ethanol conversion than the unsupported nickel nanoparticles.

Keywords: Muntingia calabura Linn.; activated carbon; nickel nanoparticles, catalyst, guerbet reaction

Received January 22, 2020. Revised March 27, 2020. Accepted March 29, 2020.