Role of Support Oxygen Vacancies in the Gas Phase Hydrogenation of Furfural over Gold

Maoshuai Li, Laura Collado, Fernando Cardenas-Lizana, Mark A. Keane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: We have examined the role of support oxygen vacancies in the gas phase hydrogenation of furfural over Au/TiO2 and Au/CeO2 prepared by deposition–precipitation. Both catalysts exhibited a similar Au particle size distribution (1–6 nm) and mean (2.8–3.2 nm). Excess H2 consumption during TPR is indicative of partial support reduction, which was confirmed by O2 titration. Gold on CeO2 with a higher redox potential exhibited a greater oxygen vacancy density. A lower furfural turnover frequency (TOF) was recorded over Au/CeO2 than Au/TiO2 and is linked to suppressed H2 chemisorption capacity and strong –C=O interaction at oxygen vacancies that inhibited activity. Gold on non-reducible Al2O3 as benchmark exhibited greater H2 uptake and delivered the highest furfural TOF. Full selectivity to the target furfuryl alcohol was achieved over Au/TiO2 and Au/Al2O3 at 413 K and over Au/CeO2 at 473 K with hydrogenolysis to 2-methylfuran at higher reaction temperature (523 K). A surface reaction mechanism is proposed to account for the activity/selectivity response. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCatalysis Letters
Early online date23 Oct 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2017


  • Furfural
  • Furfuryl alcohol
  • Oxygen vacancies
  • Selective hydrogenation
  • Supported Au

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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