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Selective hydrogenation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and its acetal with 1,3-propanediol to 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan using supported rhenium-promoted nickel catalysts in water

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Abstract

The high reactivity of the formyl group of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) is problematic, because it leads to undesired oligomerization reactions. This is usually countered by working in dilute non-aqueous solutions. Here, we present a novel approach to convert concentrated aqueous solutions of 5-HMF to 2,5-bishydroxymethylfuran (BHMF), which is a prospective monomer for polyesters and self-healing polymers. Our approach is based on the protection of the formyl group of 5-HMF using acetalization with 1,3-propanediol. Hydrogenation is carried out using an optimized bimetallic Ni–Re catalyst supported on TiO2 at a carefully controlled pH, resulting in balanced rates of deprotection and hydrogenation and high BHMF yield. Under optimized conditions at a benign temperature of 40 °C, hydrogenation of concentrated solutions (10–20 wt%) of protected 5-HMF in water gave 81–89% yields of BHMF without having to resort to platinum-group metals such as palladium or platinum.

Graphical abstract: Selective hydrogenation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and its acetal with 1,3-propanediol to 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan using supported rhenium-promoted nickel catalysts in water

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Article information


Submitted
09 Nov 2019
Accepted
13 Jan 2020
First published
21 Jan 2020

This article is Open Access

Green Chem., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Selective hydrogenation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and its acetal with 1,3-propanediol to 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan using supported rhenium-promoted nickel catalysts in water

J. J. Wiesfeld, M. Kim, K. Nakajima and E. J. M. Hensen, Green Chem., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9GC03856F

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