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Furanic biofuels production from biomass using Cu-based heterogeneous catalysts

Viar, Nerea, Requies, Jesús M., Agirre, Ion, Iriondo, Aitziber, Arias, Pedro L.
Energy 2019 v.172 pp. 531-544
biofuels, biomass, biorefining, butanol, catalysts, copper, energy, fuel production, gasoline, hydroxymethylfurfural, raw materials, texture, transportation
Biorefineries can be a good alternative to cover the current needs of energy, such as transportation fuels and also fine chemicals. 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) can be obtained directly from biomass, and it is considered one of the most promising intermediate for the synthesis of biofuels. In this work the production of 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF) and 2,5-dimethyltetrahydrofuran (DMTHF), two particularly attractive compounds to be used as biofuels due to its similar characteristics to gasoline, has been studied. For this purpose, a continuous fixed bed catalytic reactor was employed using HMF as raw material. Zr-supported Cu, CeCu, RuCu and NiCu catalysts were tested. Moreover, the catalysts textural properties were also measured - before and after the activity tesst - in order to get a deeper understanding of the relationships among the measured DMF yields and the catalyst characteristics. Final DMF, DMTHF and butanol separation was also evaluated.