(399d) Electro-Oxidation of Furans to Value-Added Chemicals

Authors: 
Roman, A., University of Colorado Boulder
Medlin, J. W., University of Colorado Boulder
Holewinski, A., University of Colorado
Aqueous electrochemistry presents a unique platform for the valorization of biomass-derived oxygenates through rearrangements involving H or O atoms under ambient conditions. In addition, the electrochemical environment can alter product distributions and efficiencies in comparison to analogous thermochemical routes. For example, oxidation product selectivities can vary with potential by changing the surface coverage of hydroxyl groups and/or through the stabilization of products requiring electron transfer as opposed to neutral atom transfer steps.

This study focuses on characterizing the partial electro-oxidation of furfural and HMF under acidic conditions on various noble metal catalysts. These biomass-derived model compoundsare derived from the acid-catalyzed conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks and can yield value-added products such as furoic acid, maleic acid, and furan-dicarboxylic acid. A differential “flow-through” electrochemical reactor was paired with membrane-inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS) and LC-MS. We analyze the partial electro-oxidation of furans under a variety of conditions and discuss trends in product distributions as they pertain to possible reaction pathways. Ongoing work involves investigation of the reaction mechanisms through isotopic labeling experiments and electrochemical ATR-FTIR.

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