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Open AccessArticle

Tandem Hydrogenation/Hydrogenolysis of Furfural to 2-Methylfuran over a Fe/Mg/O Catalyst: Structure–Activity Relationship

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Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta tecnologia, Università dell’Insubria, Via Valleggio 9, 22100 Como, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale “Toso Montanari”, University of Bologna Viale del Risorgimento 4, 40136 Bologna, Italy
3
Université de Lyon, C2P2—UMR 5265 (CNRS—Université de Lyon 1—CPE Lyon), Équipe Chimie; Organométallique de Surface CPE Lyon, 43 Boulevard du 11 Novembre 1918, CEDEX, 69616 Villeurbanne, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2019, 9(11), 895; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9110895
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 22 October 2019 / Accepted: 23 October 2019 / Published: 27 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Transformation of Renewables (Olefin, Bio-sourced, et. al))
The hydrodeoxygenation of furfural (FU) was investigated over Fe-containing MgO catalysts, on a continuous gas flow reactor, using methanol as a hydrogen donor. Catalysts were prepared either by coprecipitation or impregnation methods, with different Fe/Mg atomic ratios. The main product was 2-methylfuran (MFU), an important highly added value chemical, up to 92% selectivity. The catalyst design helped our understanding of the impact of acid/base properties and the nature of iron species in terms of catalytic performance. In particular, the addition of iron on the surface of the basic oxide led to (i) the increase of Lewis acid sites, (ii) the increase of the dehydrogenation capacity of the presented catalytic system, and (iii) to the significant enhancement of the FU conversion to MFU. FTIR studies, using methanol as the chosen probe molecule, indicated that, at the low temperature regime, the process follows the typical hydrogen transfer reduction, but at the high temperature regime, methanol dehydrogenation and methanol disproportionation were both presented, whereas iron oxide promoted methanol transfer. FTIR studies were performed using furfural and furfuryl alcohol as probe molecules. These studies indicated that furfuryl alcohol activation is the rate-determining step for methyl furan formation. Our experimental results clearly demonstrate that the nature of iron oxide is critical in the efficient hydrodeoxygenation of furfural to methyl furan and provides insights toward the rational design of catalysts toward C–O bonds’ hydrodeoxygenation in the production of fuel components. View Full-Text
Keywords: furfural; 2 methyl-furan; hydrodeoxygenation; catalyst design; iron; magnesium oxide; catalytic hydrogen transfer reduction; methanol furfural; 2 methyl-furan; hydrodeoxygenation; catalyst design; iron; magnesium oxide; catalytic hydrogen transfer reduction; methanol
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Lucarelli, C.; Bonincontro, D.; Zhang, Y.; Grazia, L.; Renom-Carrasco, M.; Thieuleux, C.; Quadrelli, E.A.; Dimitratos, N.; Cavani, F.; Albonetti, S. Tandem Hydrogenation/Hydrogenolysis of Furfural to 2-Methylfuran over a Fe/Mg/O Catalyst: Structure–Activity Relationship. Catalysts 2019, 9, 895.

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