The concept of transition from traditional processes of petrochemical synthesis to the processes realized according to the principles of green chemistry using renewable raw materials and bioavailable compounds is becoming one of the trends in modern organic chemistry. Hydrogenation reactions are among the main processes for the conversion of bioavailable raw materials. As a rule, the industry uses heterogeneous catalysts-based hydrogenation. However, the process often requires increased pressure and temperature, which leads to the initiation of side reactions and, as a consequence, a decrease in the selectivity towards the target product. To date, there are practically no heterogeneous catalytic systems for the selective hydrogenation under mild conditions. Thus, the key points in the development of modern "green" processes for the conversion of bio-raw materials is the development of a new generation of highly active and selective heterogeneous catalysts.
Researchers from the Laboratory № 14 of the ZIOC with the support of the Russian Science Foundation (grant № 17-73-20282) developed a unique catalytic system based on mixed cerium-zirconium oxide-supported platinum clusters for the selective hydrogenation of various organic compounds under mild conditions. A unique feature of the resulting Pt/CeO2-ZrO2 system is its ability to activate hydrogen even at negative temperatures. Using the obtained catalyst, it was possible to realize the synthesis of 2,5-bis (hydroxymethyl) furan, a monomer for a new generation of thermoplastic polymers, by selective hydrogenation of the bioavailable 5-hydroxymethylfurfural molecule at room temperature and atmospheric pressure in a 95% yield and 100% selectivity. An important fundamental result of the work was the development of catalytic systems with a noble metal (Pt) content of <1 wt%, which makes them the most promising systems for introducing into the existing industrial selective hydrogenation processes. The proposed approach is an example of the implementation of modern organic synthesis processes in the context of "green" chemistry strategy, which allows, on one hand, to involve and efficiently process bioavailable renewable raw materials to obtain valuable products and materials, and on the other hand, to carry out the process more profitably from the point of view of both ecology and economics, i.e. under normal conditions, without additional energy costs and, at the same time, with zero impact on the environment.
The results of this research were placed on the cover of highly-impacted journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
K. Vikanova, E. Redina, G. Kapustin, M. Chernova, O. Tkachenko, V. Nissenbaum, L. Kustov Advanced Room-Temperature Synthesis of 2,5-Bis(Hydroxymethyl)Furan — A Monomer for Biopolymers — from 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2021, 9, 1161–1171. DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c06560.