Hemicellulose-derived chemicals: one-step production of furfuryl alcohol from xylose†
One-pot production of furfuryl alcohol via xylose dehydration followed by furfural hydrogenation was investigated over a dual catalyst system composed of Pt/SiO2 and sulfated ZrO2 as metal and acid catalysts, respectively. All samples were characterized by XRD, XRF, N2 physisorption, TG-MS and FTIR regarding their most fundamental properties for the studied process. A systematic study is reported on the effects of the reaction temperature, the composition of the binary solvent and the molar ratio between acid and metal sites in the catalyst system. The results revealed the feasibility of the one-step process for furfuryl alcohol synthesis and showed that the occurrence of both acid and metal sites is compulsory in order to promote the dehydration of xylose to furfural and its further hydrogenation to furfuryl alcohol. Selectivity towards furfuryl alcohol was found to be strongly dependent on the solvent, which can inhibit its polymerization to some extent.