Support-Boosted Nickel Phosphide Nanoalloy Catalysis in the Selective Hydrogenation of Maltose to Maltitol
S. Yamaguchi, S. Fujita, K. Nakajima, S. Yamazoe, J. Yamazaki, T. Mizugaki, T. Mitsudome
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., Accepted.

Hydrogenation of carbohydrates to polyols is an industrially important process, but has drawbacks of the use of air-unstable non-noble metal catalysts with low activity or rare and expensive noble metal catalysts. We herein report that a hydrotalcite-supported nickel phosphide nanoalloy (nano-Ni2P/HT) exhibits air-stability and significantly high activity for the selective hydrogenation of D-glucose to D-sorbitol. The HT support drastically increased the catalytic activity of nano-Ni2P, leading to a quantitative synthesis of D-sorbitol under relatively milder conditions than that previously reported. The highest turnover numbers in D-glucose hydrogenation were achieved among those of previously reported non- noble metal catalysts. Furthermore, nano-Ni2P/HT was applicable to a high-concentrated D-glucose (50 wt%) transformation to D-sorbitol and reusable with retaining its high activity and selectivity, thus, representing a green sustainable methodology for the D-sorbitol synthesis from D-glucose. This high activity would be dependent on the cooperative catalysis between nano-Ni2P and HT.