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Aqueous Phase Hydrogenolysis of Bio-Derivable Furfuryl Alcohol to Pentanediols Using Copper Catalysts

Ernst Berl-Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie, Technische Chemie II, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Alarich-Weiss-Str. 8, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Albert Demonceau
Catalysts 2017, 7(2), 50;
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
In the context of sustainable production processes based on bio-derivable feedstocks, the hydrogenolysis of furfuryl alcohol gives access to two important diols. This work evaluates the performance of commercial copper catalysts in the aqueous phase hydrogenolysis reaching a selectivity towards 1,2-pentanediol of up to 34%. In contrast to noble metal catalysts such as supported ruthenium, the selectivity of the hydrogenation product, tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, is significantly lower, so the desired diols are now the main products of this reaction. Catalysis experiments show that the performance is correlated to the catalyst composition rather than the free copper surface, indicating a strong influence of the supporting material. Although the formation of oligomeric and polymeric side products is still perturbing, copper catalysts represent promising candidates for this reaction due to their low cost and wide availability. View Full-Text
Keywords: furfuryl alcohol hydrogenolysis; 1,2-pentanediol; 1,5-pentanediol furfuryl alcohol hydrogenolysis; 1,2-pentanediol; 1,5-pentanediol
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MDPI and ACS Style

Götz, D.; Lucas, M.; Claus, P. Aqueous Phase Hydrogenolysis of Bio-Derivable Furfuryl Alcohol to Pentanediols Using Copper Catalysts. Catalysts 2017, 7, 50.

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