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Issue 12, 2015
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An interchangeable homogeneous ⇔ heterogeneous catalyst system for furfural upgrading

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Abstract

Intercalation of benzimidazolium cations [BI]+ into the nanogalleries of Na+/montmorillonite (MMT) clay leads to generation of recyclable supported precatalysts [BI]+/MMT, which, upon treatment with a base, catalyze furfural self-condensation coupling reaction into furoin in almost constant yields of >96% over the three cycles investigated. This catalyst system combines the best features of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalyst systems, as it performs the homogeneous molecular catalysis by the discharged N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst in solution and then recovers the catalyst through in situ heterogenization after the reaction via re-intercalation of the charged precatalyst. The [12,12BI]+/MMT catalyst system carrying two long-chain C12 dodecyl substituents on the [BI] nitrogen atoms is particularly effective for achieving both high product yield and catalyst recyclability.

Graphical abstract: An interchangeable homogeneous ⇔ heterogeneous catalyst system for furfural upgrading

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jul 2015, accepted on 12 Aug 2015 and first published on 18 Aug 2015


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC01648G
Green Chem., 2015,17, 5149-5153

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    An interchangeable homogeneous ⇔ heterogeneous catalyst system for furfural upgrading

    L. Wang and E. Y.-X. Chen, Green Chem., 2015, 17, 5149
    DOI: 10.1039/C5GC01648G

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