Tuning solid acid catalysts for glucose conversion to platform chemicals

Amin Osatiashtiani, Adam F. Lee, Karen Wilson, Gabriel Morales, Juan A. Melero

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paper


Worldwide concern over dwindling fossil fuel reserves and impact of CO2 emissions on climate change means there is an urgent need to reduce our dependence on oil based sources of fuels and chemicals. The direct conversion of lignocellulosic derived glucose to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) is an attractive process for the production of chemicals and fuels but requires a bi-functional catalyst with acid-base or Lewis-Brönsted sites which can operate efficiently in the aqueous phase. While conventionally viewed as a superacid, the potential for tuning the acid strength in SO4/ZrO2 and potential for coupling bi-functional ZrO2-SO4/ZrO2 sites at low sulfate contents have been overlooked. Our previous work has shown effective tuning of the acid strength in SO4/ZrO2 can be used to direct selectivity in terpene isomerisation thus we rationalised control over HMF selectivity could achieved in a similar fashion. Here we report on a systematic study of the impact of acid properties of SO4/ZrO2 catalysts on the conversion of C6 sugars to 5-HMF in aqueous media and correlate the surface acid-base properties with glucose isomerisation and dehydration capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 10 Sept 2013
Event246th ACS national meeting and exposition - Indiana, Indianapolis, United States
Duration: 8 Sept 201312 Sept 2013


Meeting246th ACS national meeting and exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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