Efficient and Selective Ni/Al2O3–C Catalyst Derived from Metal–Organic Frameworks for the Hydrogenation of Furfural to Furfuryl Alcohol

  • Feng Hu
  • Yuan Wang
  • Siquan Xu
  • Zongqi Zhang
  • Yuan Chen
  • Jingdeng Fan
  • Hui Yuan
  • Lijing Gao
  • Guomin XiaoEmail author


Currently, precious metal catalysts or toxic copper-chromium catalysts are widely used in the catalytic hydrogenation of furfural. In this study, the selective hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol was performed over alumina-carbon matrix embedded Ni nanoparticles catalyst. The Ni-loaded metal organic framework precursors were synthesized by reverse microemulsion method (water in oil), then the Ni/Al2O3–C catalysts were obtained by pyrolysis under a nitrogen atmosphere. Various characterizations including XRD, XPS, SEM, TEM, TPR, TPD and TG were carried out to reveal the microstructure and chemical composition of the prepared samples. The results showed that the hexagonal platelet structure and the smaller nickel nanoparticle size(~ 8 nm) benefits from the alumina–carbon matrix support, which helped the uniform dispersion and prevented it from accumulation at high temperatures. In addition, the catalyst performance was greatly affected by the calcination conditions and metal loading. At optimized operating conditions, 98.7% conversion of furfural and 92% yield of furfuryl alcohol could be achieved over Ni0.15/Al2O3–C catalyst in the liquid phase hydrogenation reaction with a good reusability.

Graphical Abstract


Furfural hydrogenation Furfuryl alcohol Metal organic frameworks Ni/Al2O3–C catalysts 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21276050,21406034 and 21676054), Natural Science foundation of Jiangsu (No. BK20161415), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2242018K40041).

Supplementary material

10562_2019_2766_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2101 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feng Hu
    • 1
  • Yuan Wang
    • 1
  • Siquan Xu
    • 1
  • Zongqi Zhang
    • 1
  • Yuan Chen
    • 1
  • Jingdeng Fan
    • 1
  • Hui Yuan
    • 1
  • Lijing Gao
    • 1
  • Guomin Xiao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina

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