Acetic acid hydroconversion to ethanol over novel InNi/Al 2O 3 catalysts

György Onyestyák, Szabolcs Harnos, Alexander Kaszonyi, Magdalena Štolcová, Dénes Kalló

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Consecutive reduction of acetic acid (AA) to ethanol was studied looking for an advantageous catalyst for the processing of VFAs (volatile fatty acids) that can be produced by thermochemical or biological biomass degradation. A fixed bed flow-through reactor was applied with hydrogen stream at 21 bar total pressure in the temperature range of 220-380°C. AA hydroconversion activity of the parent alumina supported Ni catalyst and the yield of selectively produced alcohol can be increased drastically by In 2O 3 addition. Efficient catalysts, containing finely dispersed metal particles were obtained by reduction with H 2 at 450°C. In the catalysts modified with In 2O 3 additive formation of indium metal and/or an intermetallic compound (InNi 2) was observed resulting in a different catalytic behavior as for pure nickel particles supported on alumina. Appearance of metallic indium can direct the step by step catalytic reduction to ethanol formation inhibiting decarbonylation, decarboxylation, and additional dehydration. On comparing the commercial, conventionally used catalysts with the bimetallic alumina supported composite (InNi/Al 2O 3) the novel catalyst proved to be much more active and selective for producing ethanol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalCatalysis Communications
Publication statusPublished - Oct 5 2012


  • Acetic acid reduction
  • Ethanol
  • Ethyl acetate
  • In O doping
  • Nickel catalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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