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Versatile catalysis of iron: tunable and selective transformation of biomass-derived furfural in aliphatic alcohol

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Abstract

An iron-catalyzed efficient valorization of biomass-derived furfural (FUR) in aliphatic alcohols is developed in which product selectivity can be simply regulated by varying the gas atmosphere. In the presence of molecular oxygen, there is oxidative condensation of FUR with ethanol, and the obtained product is furan-2-acrolein in a “FUR-ethanol-O2” system. Under suitable conditions, the conversion of FUR and selectivity of furan-2-acrolein are 84.2% and 82.7%, respectively. In the presence of H2, the selective hydrogenation of FUR is achieved, and the main product is furfuryl alcohol in a “FUR-ethanol-H2” system. Under optimal conditions, a 99.9% conversion of FUR and 93.6% selectivity of furfuryl alcohol are attained. This provides an economic, green and sustainable method for the utilization of biomass-based platform compounds in the chemical industry.

Graphical abstract: Versatile catalysis of iron: tunable and selective transformation of biomass-derived furfural in aliphatic alcohol

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Mar 2018, accepted on 07 Jun 2018 and first published on 08 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8GC00852C
Citation: Green Chem., 2018, Advance Article
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    Versatile catalysis of iron: tunable and selective transformation of biomass-derived furfural in aliphatic alcohol

    Z. Zhang, X. Tong, H. Zhang and Y. Li, Green Chem., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8GC00852C

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