A facile yet highly efficient catalytic system was developed for the catalytic transfer hydrogenation (CTH) of biomass-derived furfural (FF) to furfuryl alcohol (FAOL) over commercially available NiO nanoparticles using 2-propanol as solvent and H-donor. The catalyst system yielded 94.4% of FAOL after only 30 min of reaction at 170 °C, and a satisfactory FAOL yield of 80.9% was also attained under milder reaction conditions (150 °C, 4 h). Furthermore, the NiO catalyst proved reusable for CTH of FF several times maintaining its pristine activity after calcination in air. The catalyst effectiveness was further confirmed by performing scaled-up CTH of FF and CTH of various other aldehydes. Compared to other Ni-based catalysts reported for the hydrogenation of FF, the present system absolutely averted using H2 gas as pure NiO nanoparticles with acid-base properties did not require pre-reduction.
- Catalytic transfer hydrogenation
- Furfuryl alcohol
- Ni-based catalyst