Heterogeneous Diels–Alder tandem catalysis for converting cellulose and polyethylene into BTX

Jia Wang, Jianchun Jiang, Yunjuan Sun, Xianzhi Meng, Xiaobo Wang, Roger Ruan, Arthur J. Ragauskas, Daniel C.W. Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Producing biomass-derived aromatic hydrocarbons via controllable Diels–Alder reactions is a promising approach to recover energy and chemicals from waste streams. A tandem Diels–Alder catalysis consisting of SAPO-34 and Fe/HZSM-5 (stacked catalysis or mixed catalysis) was evaluated for thermochemical conversion of cellulose and polyethylene blends into benzene, toluene, and xylenes (BTX). Aromatization catalyst type significantly affected the activity of tandem catalysis, and the BTX obtained from the HZSM-5 stacked catalysis was ~2.3 times higher than that of the USY stacked one. An introduction of Fe active promoters into HZSM-5 increased the Lewis to Brønsted acid sites molar ratio (L/B) from 0.4 to 4.1. The comparison between Fe/HZSM-5 stacked catalysis and parent HZSM-5 single catalysis indicated that the former was more effective for BTX production, obtaining a nearly two-fold increase in yield with a high selectivity of 82.8%. A close proximity between Fe/HZSM-5 and SAPO-34 in the mixed catalysis increased the BTX enhancement to 1.8. A synergistic effect was provided by the coordination of Lewis and Brønsted acid sites in the Fe/HZSM-5 mixed catalysts for facilitating BTX generation, achieving a maximum of 25.9% at a Fe/HZSM-5 to SAPO-34 mass ratio of 1:1 with a theoretical L/B of 7.2. This work provides a sustainable strategy to produce biomass-derived aromatic hydrocarbons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125418
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Biomass waste
  • Catalytic pyrolysis
  • Plastics waste
  • Sustainable waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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