DOI: 10.1002/cctc.202301259 ISSN: 1867-3880

A Protection Strategy for High‐yield Synthesis of Dimethyl Furan2,5‐dicarboxylate from 5‐Hydroxymethylfurfural Using Methanol as an Acetalizing Agent

Nirupama Sheet, Ryota Osuga, Nao Arai, Jan J. Wiesfeld, Satoshi Suganuma, Takayuki Aoshima, Atsushi Fukuoka, Emiel J.M. Hensen, Kiyotaka Nakajima
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Catalysis

Developing efficient catalytic processes for obtaining biobased monomers for plastics can significantly contributes to a more sustainable economy. The biomass‐derived and chemical platform 5‐hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) can be converted to various key intermediates, which is often hampered by side reactions due to the reactive nature of the formyl group in HMF. Here, we present a stepwise approach involving a protecting agent to obtain dimethyl furan‐2,5‐dicarboxylate (MFDC), which is a monomer for polyalkylene furanoates, a new class of biobased polyesters. Methanol is used as a solvent, reactant, and protecting agent for HMF’s formyl group. In the first step, the oxidative esterification of the hydroxymethyl group to methyl carboxylate in HMF‐dimethylacetal catalyzed by Au/CeO2 affords methyl 5‐formylfuran‐2‐carboxylate dimethylacetal (MFFCacetal) in high yields (> 90%) from concentrated methanolic solutions (~ 20 wt%). Without protecting agent, a mixture of methyl‐5hydroxymethylfuran‐2‐carboxylate (MHMFC), MFDC, and humin byproduct was obtained. The deprotection of MFFC‐acetal in the second step proceeded efficiently in acetone with Amberlyst‐15, affording MFFC in a >90% yield. In the final step, oxidative esterification of MFFC in methanol (10 wt%) afforded MFDC in a 93% yield using Au/CeO2. The acetal protection strategy with methanol offers an efficient route toward MFDC in two oxidative esterification steps.

More from our Archive