Furfuryl alcohol from furfural hydrogenation over copper supported on SBA-15 silica catalysts

D. Vargas-Hernández, J. M. Rubio-Caballero, J. Santamaría-González, R. Moreno-Tost, J. M. Mérida-Robles*, M. A. Pérez-Cruz, A. Jiménez-López, R. Hernández-Huesca, P. Maireles-Torres

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Vapor phase furfural hydrogenation has been investigated over Cu supported on SBA-15 silica catalysts. These SBA-Cu catalysts, with variable Cu loadings (8, 15 and 20 wt%), have been prepared by impregnation and characterized by N2 sorption, XRD, XPS, N2O decomposition and TEM techniques. Compared with copper chromite, SBA-Cu catalysts showed a better catalytic performance, reaching a furfural conversion of 54 mol% and a selectivity to furfuryl alcohol of 95 mol%, after 5 h of time-on-stream at 170 °C, with the 15 wt% Cu catalyst. The studies of the used catalysts by CNH analysis and thermo-programmed oxidation (TPO) evidenced a lower amount of carbonaceous deposits on this used SBA-15Cu catalyst. Moreover, the study of the copper dispersion by XPS, before and after the catalytic test, revealed that this intermediate copper loading gives rise to the most stable copper particles. The evaluation of the effect of different reaction parameters, such as reaction temperature (170-270 °C), catalyst loadings and furfural concentration and H2 flow, on the catalytic performance has demonstrated that higher conversion are attained at low reaction temperature, and, as expected, by using high catalyst weight and low furfural feed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to financial support from Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness ( CTQ2012-38204-C03-02 ), FEDER funds and Junta de Andalucía ( P09-FQM-5070 ). RMT for the financial support under the Program Ramón y Cajal (RYC-2008-03387) and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, México) for financial support via scholarships (219821).


  • Copper
  • Cu-SBA-15
  • Furfural
  • Furfuryl alcohol
  • Hydrogenation


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