(779a) Ring-Opening of Furfuryl Alcohol Towards 1,5-Pentanediol over Reduced Cu-Co-Al Mixed Metal Oxides

Authors: 
Sulmonetti, T., Georgia Institute of Technology
Hu, B., Illinois Institute of Technology
Agrawal, P. K., Georgia Institute of Technology
Jones, C. W., Georgia Institute of Technology
Taylor Sulmonetti, Bo Hu, Pradeep Agrawal, Christopher W. Jones

Ring-Opening of Furfuryl Alcohol towards 1,5-Pentanediol Over Reduced Cu-Co-Al Mixed Metal Oxides

1,5-pentanediol, a valuable specialty chemical and precursor to polyesters, is typically produced through petroleum resources. In consideration of the development of alternate, renewable feedstocks, recent interest has arisen in the ring-opening of biomass-derived furanic compounds towards suck alkane diols. Furanic compounds such as furfuryl alcohol are key biomass platform chemicals that have shown promise is reducing societyâ??s dependence on fossil resources. Recent literature has emerged on the ring-opening of furans utilizing bifunctional meta/metal oxide catalysts. However, these catalysts typically incorporate precious metals, with Ir-ReOx and Rh-ReOx as typical examples, being less attractive than lower cost earth-abundent metal catalysts. In this work, we sought to investigate the ring-opening of furfuryl alcohol towards 1,5-pentanediol in liquid phase batch conditions under H2 pressure. Cu-Co-Al mixed metal oxides were synthesized through the calcination of layered double hydroxides, and reduced in H2 to create bifunctional metal/metal oxide materials prior to reaction. Kinetic studies of multiple Cu-Co-Al catalysts with varying Cu/Co ratios and varying reduction temperatures were conducted, and the results suggested an optimum Cu/Co ratio and reduction temperature for promoting ring-opening pathways. Various characterization methods such as temperature programmed reduction supported the hypothesis that the incorporation of Cu facilitates the reduction of Co. Other techniques, including XRD and STEM, further supported the idea that well-dispersed mixed metal oxides were formed. In situ XAS was carried out to probe the electronic environment of the metal atoms upon reduction in H2, which suggested the emergence of both metallic Cu and Co phases imbedded into an oxide matrix. Ultimately, yields of about 48% for 1,5-pentanediol were observed, which suggests that the use of non-precious mixed metal oxides for furanic compound ring-opening is a promising direction warranting further exploration.