Catalytic conversion processes of furfural to 1,5- and 1,2-pentanediols are reviewed. There are two reaction paths. One is the combination of total hydrogenation of furfural to tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol (THFA) and selective hydrogenolysis of THFA to 1,5-pentanediol. The former reaction is catalyzed by noble metal catalysts such as Pd-based ones at low temperature (≤313 K), and the latter reaction is catalyzed by M–M′Ox catalysts (M = Rh or Ir; M′ = V, Mo, W or Re) at higher temperature (≥373 K). Another path has the ring-opening of furfuryl alcohol as a key step, and noble metal catalysts with basic supports such as hydrotalcite are effective. 1,2-Pentanediol can be produced via this path.
- Heterogeneous catalysis
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