Catalysis Letters

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 51-57

First online:

Furfural hydrogenation over carbon‐supported copper

  • Rajeev S. RaoAffiliated withAkzo‐Nobel Chemicals
  • , R. Terry K. BakerAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Northeastern University
  • , M. Albert VanniceAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Furfural hydrogenation over copper dispersed on three forms of carbon – activated carbon, diamond and graphitized fibers – were studied. Only hydrogenation of the C=O bond to form either furfuryl alcohol or 2‐methyl furan occurred at temperatures from 473 to 573 K. Reduction at 573 K gave the most active catalysts, all three catalysts had activation energies of 16 kcal/mol, and turnover frequencies were 0.018–0.032 s-1 based on the number of Cu0 + Cu+ sites, which were counted by N2O adsorption at 363 K and CO adsorption at 300 K, respectively. The Cu/activated carbon catalyst showed no deactivation during 10 h on stream, in contrast to the other two catalysts. A simple Langmuir–Hinshelwood model invoking two types of sites was able to fit all kinetic data quite satisfactorily, thus it was consistent with the presence of both Cu0 and Cu+ sites.

furfural hydrogenation Cu/carbon catalysts kinetics