Selective conversion of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to cyclopentanone derivatives over Cu–Al2O3 and Co–Al2O3 catalysts in water
The production of cyclopentanone derivatives from 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) using non-noble metal based catalysts is reported for the first time. Five different mixed oxides containing Ni, Cu, Co, Zn and Mg phases on an Al-rich amorphous support were prepared and characterised (XRD, ICP, SEM, TEM, H2-TPR, NH3/CO2-TPD and N2 sorption). The synthesised materials resulted in well-dispersed high metal loadings in a mesoporous network, exhibiting acid/base properties. The catalytic performance was tested in a batch stirred reactor under H2 pressure (20–50 bar) in the range T = 140–180 °C. The Cu–Al2O3 and the Co–Al2O3 catalysts showed a highly selective production of 3-hydroxymethylcyclopentanone (HCPN, 86%) and 3-hydroxymethylcyclopentanol (HCPL, 94%), respectively. A plausible reaction mechanism is proposed, clarifying the role of the reduced metal phases and the acid/basic sites on the main conversion pathways. Both Cu–Al2O3 and Co–Al2O3 catalysts showed a loss of activity after the first run, which can be reversed by a regeneration treatment. The results establish an efficient catalytic route for the production of the diol HCPL (reported for the first time) and the ketone HCPN from bio-derived HMF over 3d transition metals based catalysts in an environmental friendly medium such as water.