Catalysis Today, Vol.324, 66-72, 2019
Direct chemical conversion of xylan into furfural over sulfonated graphene oxide
Graphene oxide (GO) grafted with -SO3H group giving a Bronsted acidic function was successfully applied for selective conversion of xylan to furfural (FA), which can be utilized as a platform chemical for a variety of value-added derivatives. The sulfonated graphene oxide (GO-SO3H) was, for the first time, found to be superior for the selective production of FA with 86% yield from xylan in water as a green solvent. GO-SO3H was successfully recycled after the reaction, and retained its catalytic activity without significant reduction. It is noteworthy that the Bronsted acid site acts as a key role in the production of furfural from xylan. Additionally, the presence of oxy-functional groups not only strengthen grafting of -SO3H with GO which probably prevented leaching into the reaction medium, but also helps to enhance the sorption capacity of substrate on GO-SO3H.