We present a systematic study on the support effect of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), regarding substrate adsorption. A remarkable enhancement of both catalytic activity and selectivity for the ethanol (EtOH) production reaction through acetic acid (AcOH) hydrogenation (AH) was observed on Pt nanoparticles supported on MOFs. The systematic study on catalysis using homogeneously loaded Pt catalysts, in direct contact with seven different MOF supports (MIL-125-NH2, UiO-66-NH2, HKUST-1, MIL-101, Zn-MOF-74, Mg-MOF-74, and MIL-121) (abbreviated as Pt/MOFs), found that MOFs having a high affinity for the AcOH substrate (UiO-66-NH2 and MIL-125-NH2) showed high catalytic activity for AH. This is the first demonstration indicating that the adsorption ability of MOFs directly accelerates catalytic performance using the direct contact between the metal and the MOF. In addition, Pt/MIL-125-NH2 showed a remarkably high EtOH yield (31% at 200 °C) in a fixed-bed flow reactor, which was higher by a factor of more than 8 over that observed for Pt/TiO2, which was the best Pt-based catalyst for this reaction. Infrared spectroscopy and a theoretical study suggested that the MIL-125-NH2 support plays an important role in high EtOH selectivity by suppressing the formation of the byproduct, ethyl acetate (AcOEt), due to its relatively weak adsorption behavior for EtOH rather than AcOH.
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