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Issue 9, 2014
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The effect of oxide acidity on HMF etherification

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The liquid-phase (69 bar) reaction of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) with 2-propanol for production of furanyl ethers was studied at 413 and 453 K over a series of oxide catalysts, including γ-Al2O3, ZrO2, TiO2, Al2O3/SBA-15, ZrO2/SBA-15, TiO2/SBA-15, H-BEA, and Sn-BEA. The acidity of each of the catalysts was first characterized for Brønsted sites using TPD-TGA of 2-propanamine and for Lewis sites using TPD-TGA of 1-propanol. Catalysts with strong Brønsted acidity (H-BEA and Al2O3/SBA-15) formed 5-[(1-methylethoxy)methyl]furfural with high selectivities, while materials with Lewis acidity (γ-Al2O3, ZrO2, TiO2, and Sn-BEA) or weak Brønsted acidity (ZrO2/SBA-15 and TiO2/SBA-15) were active for transfer hydrogenation from the alcohol to HMF to produce 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan, with subsequent reactions to the mono- or di-ethers. Each of the catalysts was stable under the flow-reactor conditions but the selectivities varied with the particular oxide being investigated.

Graphical abstract: The effect of oxide acidity on HMF etherification

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The article was received on 01 May 2014, accepted on 31 May 2014 and first published on 02 Jun 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4CY00563E
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014,4, 3074-3081
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    The effect of oxide acidity on HMF etherification

    J. Luo, J. Yu, R. J. Gorte, E. Mahmoud, D. G. Vlachos and M. A. Smith, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, 4, 3074
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CY00563E

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