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Selective Conversion of Furfural to Cyclopentanone with CuZnAl Catalysts

Guo, Jianhua, Xu, Guangyue, Han, Zheng, Zhang, Ying, Fu, Yao, Guo, Qingxiang
ACS sustainable chemistry 2014 v.2 no.10 pp. 2259-2266
X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, adsorption, aqueous solutions, catalysts, catalytic activity, copper, furfural, hydrogen, industry, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, temperature, titration, transmission electron microscopy, zinc
A new catalytic system was developed for the selective conversion of biomass-derived furfural to cyclopentanone in aqueous solution. CuZnAl catalysts with different Cu/Zn molar ratios (0.5, 1, 2, and 3) and calcination temperatures (350, 500, and 700 °C) were investigated, and the CuZnAl-500–0.5 catalyst (Cu/Zn = 0.5, calcined at 500 °C) showed a remarkable catalytic performance in the reaction. A 62% yield of cyclopentanone was obtained at the optimized conditions (150 °C, 4 MPa H₂, 6 h), and the TOF was 9.4 h–¹. The catalysts were characterized by nitrogen adsorption, XRD, TEM, N₂O titration, ICP, XPS, and a carbon–sulfur analyzer. The factors that influenced the activity of catalysts were also investigated. Additionally, the CuZnAl-500–0.5 was recycled five times and maintained good activity and stability. Hence, the current work presents a new and efficient catalytic system for the conversion of furfural to cyclopentanone. The low-cost nature of the CuZnAl makes it a potential catalyst for the production of cyclopentanone in industry.