Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 611–626 | Cite as

Continuous electrochemical oxidation of biomass derived 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural into 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid

  • R. Latsuzbaia
  • R. Bisselink
  • A. Anastasopol
  • H. van der Meer
  • R. van Heck
  • M. Segurola Yagüe
  • M. Zijlstra
  • M. Roelands
  • M. Crockatt
  • E. Goetheer
  • E. Giling
Research Article


A continuous electrochemical process with integrated product separation has been developed for production of 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) by oxidation of 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) in aqueous alkaline media on non-noble Ni/NiOOH foam electrodes at ambient conditions. Initially, voltammetry studies were performed in both, acid and alkaline media, on various catalyst materials: Au, Au3Pd2, Pt, PbO2, Ni/NiOOH and graphite. Preparative electrolysis was performed on Au, Au3Pd2, Pt, PbO2, Ni/NiOOH electrodes in a divided glass cell and Ni/NiOOH showed the best performance with an FDCA yield of ≈ 90% and a Faradaic efficiency of ≈ 80%. The electrolysis conditions were then optimized to industrially relevant conditions in a filter-press type flow reactor with Ni/NiOOH foam anode. HMF concentrations as high as 10 wt% were converted to FDCA at pH 12 in a buffer free 0.1 M Na2SO4 electrolyte with continuous addition of NaOH to maintain constant pH. An FDCA separation yield up to 95% was achieved via pH shift crystallization. The electrolysis and FDCA separation results were used for the design and construction of a bench-scale system where continuous FDCA production, including integrated product separation, was tested and reported in this work. This publication for the first time presents a continuous electrochemical FDCA production system with integrated product separation at industrially relevant product concentrations, 10 wt% HMF, and utilizing non-noble electrode materials.

Graphical Abstract


Electroorganic synthesis Continuous production HMF FDCA Nickel oxy-hydroxide electrode 



We acknowledge financial support from the Voltachem Shared Innovation Program (

Supplementary material

10800_2018_1157_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1210 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Latsuzbaia
    • 1
  • R. Bisselink
    • 2
  • A. Anastasopol
    • 1
  • H. van der Meer
    • 1
  • R. van Heck
    • 1
  • M. Segurola Yagüe
    • 1
  • M. Zijlstra
    • 2
  • M. Roelands
    • 1
  • M. Crockatt
    • 1
  • E. Goetheer
    • 1
  • E. Giling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sustainable Process and Energy SystemsTNODelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Wageningen Food & Biobased ResearchWageningen University and ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands

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