A Unique Co@CoO Catalyst for Hydrogenolysis of Biomass derived 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-Dimethylfuran

Shuang Xiang, Lin Dong, Zhi-Qiang Wang, Xue Han, Luke D. Daemen, Jiong Li, Yongqiang Cheng, Yong Guo, Xiaohui Liu, Yongfeng Hu, Anibal J. Ramirez-Cuesta, Sihai Yang, Xue-Qing Gong, Yanqin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of precious-metal-free catalysts to promote the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals from biomass remains an important and challenging target. Here, we report the efficient hydrogenolysis of biomass-derived 5-hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-dimethylfuran over a unique core-shell structured catalyst, Co@CoO that affords the highest productivity among all catalysts, including noble-metal-based catalysts, reported to date. Surprisingly, we find that the catalytically active sites reside on the shell of CoO with oxygen vacancies rather than the metallic Co. The combination of various spectroscopic experiments and computational modelling reveals that the CoO shell incorporating oxygen vacancies not only drives the heterolytic cleavage, but also the homolytic cleavage of H2 to yield more active Hδ- species, resulting in the exceptional catalytic activity. Co@CoO also exhibits excellent activity toward the direct hydrodeoxygenation of lignin model compounds. This study unlocks, for the first time, the potential of simple metal oxide-based catalysts for the hydrodeoxygenation of renewable biomass to chemical feedstocks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Jun 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'A Unique Co@CoO Catalyst for Hydrogenolysis of Biomass derived 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-Dimethylfuran'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this