(617ef) Selective Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Furfural on Metal Electrodes
In this talk, the electrocatalytic hydrogenation of furfural in acidic aqueous solutions on metal foil electrodes will be presented. Among all the metals tested, copper was unique toward 2-methylfuran production with high selectivity and electron efficiency. Other metals generated mainly furfuryl alcohol or products of dimerization reactions, or suffered from low electron efficiency resulting from the competing hydrogen evolution reaction. With an emphasis on copper, the effects of applied electrode potential, electrolyte composition and pH, and other reaction conditions on the efficiency and selectivity of furfural conversion were studied. For example, 2-methylfuran selectivity increased with decreasing pH and increasing electrode potentials. Dimerization products were majorly formed at conditions of higher pH and greater initial furfural concentrations. Cyclic voltammetry and bulk electrolysis studies elucidated the reaction pathways for formation of 2-methylfuran and furfuryl alcohol on copper electrodes. This work opens up opportunities to use earth-abundant materials and mild reaction conditions for efficient conversion of biorenewable chemicals.
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