Bifunctional carbon nanoplatelets as metal-free catalysts for direct conversion of fructose to 2,5-diformylfuran†
Synthesis of 2,5-diformylfuran (DFF) using a carbohydrate as a raw material by dehydration to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and in situ selective oxidation of HMF is important for the direct preparation of high value chemicals from biomass materials, to avoid the energy consumption process of HMF separation and purification. In this study, carbon nanoplatelets were prepared by a facile molten-salt method and functionalized to be the bifunctional catalysts for the tandem reaction from fructose to DFF. The excellent catalytic performance of the catalysts was attributed to the rich oxygen-containing groups on the surface of the catalysts. A DFF yield of 70.3% can be achieved in a one-pot and one-step conversion of fructose to DFF with oxygen as the only oxidant at atmospheric pressure.