New catalytic processes for the upgrading of furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to chemicals and fuels

Pasini, Thomas (2013) New catalytic processes for the upgrading of furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to chemicals and fuels, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica industriale, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5750.
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The demand of energy, fuels and chemicals is increasing due to the strong growth of some countries in the developing world and the development of the world economy. Unfortunately, the general picture derived sparked an exponential increase in crude oil prices with a consequent increase of the chemical, by-products and energy, depleting the global market. Nowadays biomass are the most promising alternative to fossil fuels for the production of chemicals and fuels. In this work, the development of three different catalytic processes for the valorization of biomass-derived has been investigated. 5-hydroxymethylfurfural oxidation was studied under mild reaction condition using gold and gold/copper based catalysts synthetized from pre-formed nanoparticles and supported onto TiO2 and CeO2. The analysis conducted on catalysts showed the formation of alloys gold/copper and a strong synergistic effect between the two metals. For this reason the bimetallic catalysts supported on titania showed a higher catalytic activity respect to the monometallic catalysts. The process for the production of 2,5-bishydroxymethyl furan (BHMF) was also optimized by means the 5-hydroxymethylfurfural hydrogenation using the Shvo complex. Complete conversion of HMF was achieved working at 90 °C and 10 bar of hydrogen. The complex was found to be re-usable for at least three catalytic cycles without suffering any type of deactivation. Finally, the hydrogenation of furfural and HMF was carried out, developing the process of hydrogen transfer by using MgO as a catalyst and methanol as a hydrogen donor. Quantitative yields to alcohols have been achieved in a few hours working in mild condition: 160 °C and at autogenous pressure. The only by-products formed were light products such as CO, CO2 and CH4 (products derived from methanol transformation), easily separable from the reaction solution depressurizing the reactor.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Pasini, Thomas
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
12 Aprile 2013

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