The selective condensation of 2-methylfuran and furfural to C15 compounds is performed using supported phosphotungstic acid catalysts in a continuous-flow fixed-bed reactor. The formation of unwanted viscous tetramers (C20) is suppressed when the continuous-flow reaction system is used. Stronger acids, as measured by pKa, improved the condensation of furans, but the number of acid sites was rather weakly correlated with the catalytic activity. Suppressed catalytic activity in tiny pores smaller than 2.8–6.3 nm was also observed. Based on the observations of the acidity and pore structures, a strategy with which to design optimum catalysts for the condensation of furan compounds is suggested.
- Continuous-flow reaction
- Phosphotungstic acid
- Supported catalyst
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Process Chemistry and Technology