Efficient catalytic transfer hydrogenation of biomass-based furfural to furfuryl alcohol with recycable Hf-phenylphosphonate nanohybrids
Recently, Dr. Hu Li supervised by Profs. Zhen FANG and RL Smith has synthesized an acid-base bifunctional nanohybrid phenylphosphonic acid (PhP) – hafnium (1:1.5) through assembly of PhP with HfCl4 for catalytic transfer hydrogenation of furfural (FUR) to furfuryl alcohol (FFA) using 2-propanol as both reaction solvent and hydrogen donor source. An FFA yield of 97.6% with formation rate of 9760 μmol g-1 h-1 at 99.2% FUR conversion was obtained with the reaction system at 120 °C for 2 h reaction time. Activation energy (Ea) was estimated to be 60.8 kJ/mol with respect to FUR concentration, which is comparable with or even lower than Ea values attained over metal catalysts. The pronounced catalytic activity of PhP-Hf (1:1.5) is attributed to its moderate acidity and relatively strong basicity. The PhP-Hf (1:1.5) catalyst was demonstrated to maintain its activity for five consecutive reuse cycles.
Related results were published:
H Li, Y Li, Zhen Fang*, RL Smith Jr., Efficient Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation of Biomass-Based Furfural to Furfuryl Alcohol with Recycable Hf-Phenylphosphonate Nanohybrids, Catalysis Today, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cattod.2018.04.056, 2018.
Mesoporous PhP-Hf(1:1.5) nanohybrid material bearing acidic and basic sites promotes catalytic transfer hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol with 97.6% yields with 2-propanol as solvent and hydrogen donor source at 120 °C in 2 h reaction time.