(759g) Effects of Temperature on the Selectivity of Furfural Hydrogenation and Hydrogenolysis Products over Copper Electrocatalysts

Biddinger, E. - Presenter, City College of New York
May, A. S., City College of New York
Furfural (FF) is a C5 platform molecule derived from lignocellulose that can be converted into valorized furfuryl alcohol (FA) and 2-methylfuran (MF). Catalytic hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis is commonly used for biomass conversion, however the process requires external hydrogen gas as well as high temperatures and pressures. Electrochemical hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis (ECH) of furfural holds promise as the process can be run at ambient or near-ambient conditions and adsorbed hydrogen for the reaction can be produced in-situ from the electrolyte so that an external supply is unnecessary. Additionally electrochemical hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis processes can utilize excess renewable electricity.

We have shown that to obtain high partial current densities of FA and MF, high overpotentials were required when using Cu electrocatalysts in 0.5M H2SO4 electrolyte. By tuning the temperature of the reaction from 10 to 45°C, the kinetics of both FA and MF, as well as side products, can be modified. The ECH to FA, MF and side product reaction rates do not increase with temperature at the same rate, allowing for product selectivity to be targeted as a function of temperature as well as a function of potential.