The selective liquid phase hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol over Pt nanoparticles supported on SiO2, ZnO, γ-Al2O3, CeO2 is reported under extremely mild conditions. Ambient hydrogen pressure, and temperatures as low as 50 °C are shown sufficient to drive furfural hydrogenation with high conversion and >99% selectivity to furfuryl alcohol. Strong support and solvent dependencies are observed, with methanol and n-butanol proving excellent solvents for promoting high furfuryl alcohol yields over uniformly dispersed 4 nm Pt nanoparticles over MgO, CeO2 and γ-Al2O3. In contrast, non-polar solvents conferred poor furfural conversion, while ethanol favored acetal by-product formation. Furfural selective hydrogenation can be tuned through controlling the oxide support, reaction solvent and temperature.
- ambient conditions
- supported catalysts