University of Oulu

Varila, T., Mäkelä, E., Kupila, R., Romar, H., Hu, T., Karinen, R., Puurunen, R. L., & Lassi, U. (2021). Conversion of furfural to 2-methylfuran over CuNi catalysts supported on biobased carbon foams. Catalysis Today, 367, 16–27.

Conversion of furfural to 2-methylfuran over CuNi catalysts supported on biobased carbon foams

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Author: Varila, Toni1,2; Mäkelä, Eveliina3; Kupila, Riikka1,2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, Applied Chemistry, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 567, 67101 Kokkola, Finland
3Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering, P.O. Box 16100, 00076 AALTO, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-14


In this study, carbon foams prepared from the by-products of the Finnish forest industry, such as tannic acid and pine bark extracts, were examined as supports for 5/5% Cu/Ni catalysts in the hydrotreatment of furfural to 2-methylfuran (MF). Experiments were conducted in a batch reactor at 503 K and 40 bar H₂. Prior to metal impregnation, the carbon foam from tannic acid was activated with steam (S1), and the carbon foam from pine bark extracts was activated with ZnCl₂ (S2) and washed with acids (HNO₃ or H₂SO₄). For comparison, a spruce-based activated carbon (AC) catalyst and two commercial AC catalysts as references were investigated. Compressive strength of the foam S2 was 30 times greater than that of S1. The highest MF selectivity of the foam-supported catalysts was 48 % (S2, washed with HNO₃) at a conversion of 91 %. According to the results, carbon foams prepared from pine bark extracts can be applied as catalyst supports.

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Series: Catalysis today
ISSN: 0920-5861
ISSN-E: 1873-4308
ISSN-L: 0920-5861
Volume: 367
Pages: 16 - 27
DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2020.10.027
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
Funding: Authors T. Varila and R. Kupila thank the Green Bioraff Solutions Project (EU/Interreg/Botnia-Atlantica, 20201508) for funding this research. E. Mäkelä acknowledges the grant obtained from Aalto University.
Copyright information: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license