The controlled catalytic oxidation of furfural to furoic acid using AuPd/Mg(OH)2

Mark Douthwaite, Xiaoyang Huang, Sarwat Iqbal, Peter J. Miedziak, Gemma L. Brett, Simon A. Kondrat, Jennifer K. Edwards, Meenakshisundaram Sankar, Donald Bethell, Graham J. Hutchings*, David Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


The emphasis of modern chemistry is to satisfy the needs of consumers by using methods that are sustainable and economical. Using a 1% AuPd/Mg(OH)2 catalyst in the presence of NaOH and under specific reaction conditions furfural; a platform chemical formed from lignocellulosic biomass, can be selectively oxidised to furoic acid, and the catalyst displays promising reusability for this reaction. The mechanism of this conversion is complex with multiple competing pathways possible. The experimental conditions and AuPd metal ratio can be fine-tuned to provide enhanced control of the reaction selectivity. Activation energies were derived for the homogeneous Cannizzaro pathway and the catalytic oxidation of furfural using the initial rates methodology. This work highlights the potential of using a heterogeneous catalyst for the oxidation of furfural to furoic acid that has potential for commercial application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5284-5293
Number of pages10
JournalCatalysis Science and Technology
Issue number22
Early online date17 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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