Boehmite-supported CuO as a catalyst for catalytic transfer hydrogenation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan

Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering(2023)

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2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan (BHMF) is an important monomer of polyester. Its oxygen-containing rigid ring structure and symmetrical diol functional group establish it as an alternative to petroleum-based monomer with unique advantages for the prodution of the degradable bio-based polyester materials. Herein, we prepared a boehmite-supported copper-oxide catalyst for the selective hydrogenation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural into BHMF via catalytic transfer hydrogenation (CTH). Further, ethanol successfully replaced conventional high-pressure hydrogen as the hydrogen donor, with up to 96.9% BHMF selectivity achieved under suitable conditions. Through characterization and factor investigations, it was noted that CuO is crucial for high BHMF selectivity. Furthermore, kinetic studies revealed a higher by-product activation energy compared to that of BHMF, which explained the influence of reaction temperature on product distribution. To establish the catalyst structure-activity correlation, a possible mechanism was proposed. The copper-oxide catalyst deactivated following CTH because ethanol reduced the CuO, which consequently decreased the active sites. Finally, calcination of the catalyst in air recovered its activity. These results will have a positive impact on hydrogenation processes in the biomass industry.
biomass,5-hydroxymethylfurfural,2,5-bis (hydroxymethyl)furan,transfer hydrogenation,catalysis
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