Conversion of furfural to 2-methylfuran over CuNi catalysts supported on biobased carbon foams

Toni Varila, Eveliina Mäkelä, Riikka Kupila, Henrik Romar, Tao Hu, Reetta Karinen, Riikka Puurunen, Ulla Lassi

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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In this study, carbon foams prepared from the by-products of the Finnish forest industry, such as tannic acid and pine bark extracts, were examined as supports for 5/5% Cu/Ni catalysts in the hydrotreatment of furfural to 2-methylfuran (MF). Experiments were conducted in a batch reactor at 503 K and 40 bar H2. Prior to metal impregnation, the carbon foam from tannic acid was activated with steam (S1), and the carbon foam from pine bark extracts was activated with ZnCl2 (S2) and washed with acids (HNO3 or H2SO4). For comparison, a spruce-based activated carbon (AC) catalyst and two commercial AC catalysts as references were investigated. Compressive strength of the foam S2 was 30 times greater than that of S1. The highest MF selectivity of the foam-supported catalysts was 48 % (S2, washed with HNO3) at a conversion of 91 %. According to the results, carbon foams prepared from pine bark extracts can be applied as catalyst supports.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCatalysis Today
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • biobased foams
  • carbon
  • mechanical strength
  • furfural
  • Cu/Ni catalyst
  • 2-methylfuran


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