Furfural has been considered as one of the most promising platform molecules directly derived from biomass. The hydrogenation of furfural is one of the most versatile reactions to upgrade furanic components to biofuels. For instance, it can lead to plenty of downstream products, such as (tetrahydro)furfuryl alcohol, 2-methyl(tetrahydro)furan, lactones, levulinates, cyclopentanone(l), or diols, etc. The aim of this review is to discuss recent advances in the catalytic hydrogenation of furfural towards (tetrahydro)furfuryl alcohol and 2-methyl(tetrahydro)furan in terms of different non-noble metal and noble metal catalytic systems. Reaction mechanisms that are related to the different catalytic materials and reaction conditions are properly discussed. Selective hydrogenation of furfural could be modified not only by varying the types of catalyst (nature of metal, support, and preparation method) and reaction conditions, but also by altering the reaction regime, namely from batch to continuous flow. In any case, furfural catalytic hydrogenation is an open research line, which represents an attractive option for biomass valorization towards valuable chemicals and fuels.
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