High Yield Conversion of Residual Pentoses into Furfural via Zeolite Catalysis and Catalytic Hydrogenation of Furfural to 2-Methylfuran

Research paper by Jean Lessard, Jean-François Morin, Jean-François Wehrung, Delphine Magnin, Esteban Chornet

Indexed on: 02 Jun '10Published on: 02 Jun '10Published in: Topics in Catalysis


Xylose was dehydrated over (H+) mordenite, using a continuous two-liquid-phase (aqueous-toluene) plug-flow reactor at 260 °C and 55 atm, with 98% conversion rate, 98% furfural molar yield, and 98% furfural selectivity (results from the first pass). Furfural in toluene was hydrogenated over a Cu/Fe catalyst, at 252 °C (gas-phase), in a 99% conversion rate to give 2-methylfuran in a 98% yield (same activity maintained for a 20-h operation).