Osatiashtiani, Amin, Lee, Adam F., Brown, D.R., Melero, Juan A., Morales, Gabriel and Wilson, Karen (2014) Bifunctional SO4/ZrO2 catalysts for 5-hydroxymethylfufural (5-HMF) production from glucose. Catalysis Science & Technology, 4 (2). pp. 333-342. ISSN 2044-4753

The telescopic conversion of glucose to fructose and then 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF), the latter a potential, bio-derived platform chemical feedstock, has been explored over a family of bifunctional sulfated zirconia catalysts possessing tuneable acid–base properties. Characterisation by acid–base titration, XPS, XRD and Raman reveal that submonolayer SO4 coverages offer the ideal balance of basic and Lewis–Brønsted acid sites required to respectively isomerise glucose to fructose, and subsequently dehydrate fructose to 5-HMF. A constant acid site normalised turnover frequency is observed for fructose dehydration to 5-HMF, confirming a common Brønsted acid site is responsible for this transformation.

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