Catalytic Conversion of Furfural into Gasoline Components
Furfural is the main industrial product of pentose carbohydrates hydrolysis, however development of biofuels of the furfural platform has started to be discussed only recently. Alkylfurfuryl ethers, namely butylfurfuryl ether, propylfurfuryl ether, 2-methylfuran, and furfuryl alcohol offer high anti-knocking activity (blending research octane numbers (BRON) above 100), and may be applied as components of biofuels. 2-methylfuran was successfully tested in the mixtures with gasoline in car engines. The aim of this work is to study furfural catalytic hydrogenation over Cu-Ru/C and Pt/C catalysts in alcohol solutions to produce alkylfurfuryl ethers. It was shown that furfural hydrogenation in alcohol media is accompanied by formation of acetals. Both products, furfural and furfuryl acetals, are hydrogenated, and the acetals give the corresponding ethers. In such way catalytic hydrogenation of furfuryl acetals was found to be an alternative and a promising method to produce corresponding furfuryl ethers with rather good yields.