Publication YXY 2009

E.-J. Ras, S. Maisuls, P. Haesakkers, G.-J. Gruter, G. Rothenberg, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2009, 351, 3175.

We report here the synthesis and testing of a set of 48 alumina-supported catalysts for hydrogenation of 5-ethoxymethylfurfural. This catalytic reaction is very important in the context of converting biomass to biofuels. The catalysts are composed of one main metal (gold, copper, iridium, nickel, palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium) and one promoter metal (bismuth, chromium, iron, sodium, tin, tungsten). Using a 16-parallel trickle-flow reactor, we tested all 48 catalyst combinations under a variety of conditions. The results show that both substrate conversion and product selectivity are sensitive towards temp. changes and solvent effects. The best results of >99% yield to the desired product, 5-(ethoxymethyl)furfurylmethanol, are obtained using an iridium/chromium (Ir/Cr) catalyst. The mechanistic implications of different possible reaction pathways in this complex hydrogenation system are discussed.


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