Catalytic activity of tungsten trioxide (WO3) nanostructures prepared through the hydrothermal and precipitation methods for hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol

  • Wesam Ahmed Ali

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This study to investigate the catalytic activity and selectivity towards hydrogenation of furfural to useful products such as furfuryl alcohol over tungsten trioxide catalysts. The morphology of the catalysts was tuned via a surfactant-assisted hydrothermal and precipitation processes. Three samples were synthesized from each method with the variation of the surfactant type, cationic dodecyl dimethyl ammonium bromide and anionic poly (ethylene-alt-maleic anhydride), to direct the structure formation. D-WO3 catalyst prepared by both methods was the most effective catalyst in terms of conversion and selectivity. The synthesized WO3 catalysts were characterized using X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman, and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET). The catalysts exhibited monoclinic and orthorhombic crystal structures according to the preparation method. SEM showed the various morphologies of the catalysts (nano-cubes, nano-prisms, nano-flakes, and nano-rods). EDX confirmed the catalysts composition. TEM illustrated the crystallinity of the catalysts and it showed that some exhibited monocrystalline while other polycrystalline structure. BET was used to determine the surface area, porosity type and shape of the catalysts. Catalysts exhibits mesoporous structures with a parallel plate shape. Furfural conversion was carried out on all catalysts. The hydrothermal process outperformed the precipitation method. Both methods generated D-WO3 with the highest conversion and selectivity percentages. Hydrothermal conversion of D-WO3 was 40%, while precipitation conversion was 35%. The former had an 89% selectivity, while the latter had an 86% selectivity.
Date of AwardMay 2021
Original languageAmerican English


  • WO3 nanostructures; Catalyst; Furfural; Hydrogenation; Furfuryl alcohol; Biofuel.

Cite this