Atomic NbOx overlayers on palladium nanoparticles enhance selective hydrodehydroxylation

Ye Liu, Bin Zhang, Jing Xia, Mark Douthwaite, Minghua Dong, Haiyang Yuan, Xiaomeng Cheng, Sen Luan, Yuxuan Wu, Zhijuan Zhao, Jing Tai, Lihua Chen, Baolian Su, Buxing Han, Huizhen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The implementation of strong metal–support interactions (SMSI) is an effective design strategy that can be used to control reaction selectivity. In this study, we present evidence for the existence of SMSI between Nb2O5 and Pd, which results in the formation of an atomic thick layer of NbOx that coats the surface of Pd nanoparticles. The NbOx layer was found to profoundly affect the catalytic hydrodehydroxylation of 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) to 5-methylfurfural (MF). Under optimal reaction conditions, it significantly increased MF selectivity (from 6.4% to 81.0%) compared to an analogous control sample at iso-conversion. Through probing these two materials, the origin of this enhancement was attributed to the blocking of active sites responsible for the (undesirable) hydrogenation of C = O moieties. Importantly, however, the NbOx overlayer did not appear to influence the ability of the material to activate H2 and preferentially dissociate C – OH on Nb2O5, which are key steps in the hydrodehydroxylation mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Article number147687
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Biomass conversion
  • Metal encapsulation
  • Nb O catalysts 2 5
  • Selective hydrogenolysis
  • Strong metal–support interaction (SMSI)
  • Nb O catalysts


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