Selective hydrogenation of furfural to tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol over Rh-loaded carbon catalyst in aqueous solution under mild conditions
We describe the selective hydrogenation of furfural (FAL) into tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol (THFA) under mild condition (30 ºC) in aqueous media using Rh-loaded carbon (Rh/C) catalyst in the one-pot fashion. In the FAL hydrogenation, the Rh/C catalyst shows a high THFA yield (92%) with 93% selectivity in aqueous media within 12 h whereas the use of dimethylacetamide (DMA) solvent system exhibited 95% THFA yield within 32 h at 30 ºC. The effect of the solvent system reveals that polar solvents are efficient than non-polar solvent. The Rh/C catalyst used in this study performs better compared to Ru/C, Pd/C, Ni/C derived from Ni-based metal-organic frameworks (Ni-MOF), and Ni-loaded carbon black (Ni/CB) catalysts on the FAL-to-THFA hydrogenation. The Rh/C catalyst is characterized in detail using various characterization techniques such as TEM, XRD, N2-adsorption-desorption, XPS, and ICP-OES to understand its physicochemical properties. The Rh/C catalyst shows similar high THFA yield in recycling experiment of FAL hydrogenation under ambient condition.