Effective strategy for high-yield furan dicarboxylate production for biobased polyester applications

Minjune Kim, Yaqiong Su, T. Aoshima, A. (Atsushi) Fukuoka, Emiel Hensen (Corresponding author), Kiyotaka Nakajima (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


A unique strategy for the formation of furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid (FDCA)-derived esters with methanol and ethylene glycol in concentrated solutions was reported using a six-membered ring acetal of (5-hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) with 1,3-propanediol in order to improve the economics for the production of polyethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate (PEF), a biobased polyester. Aerobic oxidative esterification with methanol and ethylene glycol in the presence of a CeO 2 -supported Au catalyst gave 80-95% yields of methyl furan-2,5-dicarboxylate and bis(2-hydroxyethyl)furan-2,5-dicarboxylate from concentrated HMF-acetal solutions (10-20 wt %). Kinetic studies combined with density functional theory (DFT) calculations were used to identify two key steps for the conversion of the cyclic acetal ring to the corresponding methyl ester: (i) partial hydrolysis of the acetal ring by OH - ions and (ii) subsequent oxidation of the hemiacetal in solution by molecular O 2 on Au nanoparticles. These results represent a significant contribution not only to cutting-edge conversion technology for renewable biomass feedstocks to PEF-based applications but also to opportunities for the efficient conversion of substrates with a reactive formyl group in high yield.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4277-4285
Number of pages9
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019


  • acetal functionality
  • biobased polymer
  • biomass conversion
  • oxidative esterification
  • supported Au catalyst


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective strategy for high-yield furan dicarboxylate production for biobased polyester applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this