Conversion of Xylose to Furfuryl Alcohol and 2‐Methylfuran in a Continuous Fixed‐Bed Reactor

Research paper by Dr. Jinglei Cui, Dr. Jingjing Tan, Dr. Xiaojing Cui, Prof. Yulei Zhu, Dr. Tiansheng Deng, Dr. Guoqiang Ding, Prof. Yongwang Li

Indexed on: 28 Apr '16Published on: 27 Apr '16Published in: ChemSusChem


An efficient process was designed for the synthesis of furfuryl alcohol and 2‐methylfuran from xylose using a continuous fixed‐bed reactor over a catalyst combining Hβ zeolite and Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 in γ‐butyrolactone (GBL)/water as solvent. The cooperative effect of Hβ zeolite and GBL facilitated the dehydration of xylose and enhanced largely the furfural yield. The production of furfuryl alcohol and 2‐methylfuran can be simply tuned by changing the hydrogenation temperature for furfural over the Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst. The yield for furfuryl alcohol reached 87.2 % at 150 °C whereas a yield of 86.8 % was achieved for 2‐methylfuran at 190 °C.