Transfer Hydrogenation of Biomass-Derived Furfural to 2-Methylfuran over CuZnAl Catalysts

Research paper by Hongyu Niu, Jingjie Luo, Chuang Li, Baowei Wang, Changhai Liang

Indexed on: 12 Jun '19Published on: 26 Mar '19Published in: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry


2-Methylfuran production through catalytic transfer hydrogenation (CTH) of furfural in liquid phase has been investigated over CuZnAl catalysts using alcohol as hydrogen donor. Results suggested that furfuryl alcohol was generated immediately and subsequently transformed into 2-methylfuran. The cleavage of C–O(H) was the rate-determining step and positively relied on the copper content. Prereduction of CuZnAl by H2 provided surface reduced Cu0 and Cu+ species with the preservation of the CuAl2O4 phase. By using the Cu2.5Zn–Al-600 catalyst with a Cu/Zn molar ratio of 2.5, we can achieve a 72% 2-methylfuran yield and a specific rate of 7.5 mmolMF/(gCat. h) under ordinary pressure in N2 at 180 °C, which is even superior to the reported noble metal catalysts. After six reaction cycles, the catalytic activity remained almost unchanged. The low cost and facile availability of the CuZnAl catalyst make it available for the potential use in industry.

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