Porous Zr–Thiophenedicarboxylate Hybrid for Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation of Bio-Based Furfural to Furfuryl Alcohol

  • Tao Wang
  • Aiyun Hu
  • Guangzhi Xu
  • Chen Liu
  • Haijun WangEmail author
  • Yongmei Xia


Furfural (FAL) is one of the most important biomass-derived platform compounds. The catalytic transformation of FAL was investigated with three porous Zr–thiophenedicarboxylate hybrids for the production of furfuryl alcohol (FOL). Three Zr-based catalysts, including DUT-67(Zr), DUT-68(Zr) and DUT-69(Zr) were synthesized through a facile assembly of 2,5-thiophenedicarboxylate acid with ZrCl4 using the acetic acid as a modulator under hydrothermal conditions. These catalysts were also characterized using FT-IR, XRD, SEM, TEM, N2 adsorption–desorption, XPS and TG. The specific surface area of the DUT-69(Zr) is smaller than that of the DUT-68(Zr) and slightly larger than that of the DUT-67(Zr), but it has a relatively large pore volume and pore diameter. Although all three catalysts showed excellent catalytic activity towards the catalytic transfer hydrogenation of FAL into FOL, the DUT-69(Zr) material has slightly higher catalytic activity than the other two catalysts. Besides, considering the cost of catalyst preparation, the DUT-69(Zr) material was used as the optimal catalyst and studied in detail. A high FOL yield of 92.2% at 95.9% FAL conversion was achieved at 120 °C for 4 h over DUT-69(Zr). Meanwhile, the DUT-69(Zr) could be reused more than six times with a minor decrease in catalytic activity. Finally, a plausible mechanism for catalytic transfer hydrogenation of carbonyl compounds to produce corresponding alcohols was presented based on the results of the experiments and previous reports.

Graphical Abstract


Furfural Carbonyl compounds Furfuryl alcohol Catalytic transfer hydrogenation Zr–thiophenedicarboxylate hybrid DUT-69(Zr) 



This work was financial supported by the MOE & SAFEA for the 111 Project (B13025).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10562_2019_2748_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2381 KB)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Wang
    • 1
  • Aiyun Hu
    • 1
  • Guangzhi Xu
    • 1
  • Chen Liu
    • 1
  • Haijun Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yongmei Xia
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Biological ColloidsMinistry of Education, School of Chemical and Material Engineering, Jiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Food Science & TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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