The Influence of the Gold Particle Size on the Catalytic Oxidation of 5-(Hydroxymethyl)furfural
Schade, O. / Dolcet, P. / Nefedov, A./ Huang, X. / Saraçi, E./ Wöll, C. / Grunwaldt, J. D. (2020)
Catalysts, 2020, 10(3), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10030342
- Date: März 2020
For the production of chemicals from biomass, new selective processes are required. The selective oxidation of 5-(Hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF), a promising platform molecule in fine chemistry, to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) is considered a promising approach and requires the oxidation of two functional groups. In this study, Au/ZrO2 catalysts with different mean particle sizes were prepared by a chemical reduction method using tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium chloride (THPC) and tested in HMF oxidation. The catalyst with the smallest mean particle size (2.1 nm) and the narrowest particle size distribution was highly active in the oxidation of the aldehyde moiety of HMF, but less active in alcohol oxidation. On the other hand, increased activity in FDCA synthesis up to 92% yield was observed over catalysts with a larger mean particle size (2.7 nm), which had a large fraction of small and some larger particles. A decreasing FDCA yield over the catalyst with the largest mean particle size (2.9 nm) indicates that the oxidation of both functional groups require different particle sizes and hint at the presence of an optimal particle size for both oxidation steps. The activity of Au particles seems to be influenced by surface steps and H bonding strength, the latter particularly in aldehyde oxidation. Therefore, the presence of both small and some larger Au particles seem to give catalysts with the highest catalytic activity.