Reduction of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-Bis(hydroxymethyl)Furan at High Current Density using a Ga-Doped AgCu:Cationomer Hybrid Electrocatalyst

Cong Tian, Jiaqi Yu, Daojin Zhou, Huajie Ze, Hengzhou Liu, Yuanjun Chen, Rong Xia, Pengfei Ou, Weiyan Ni, Ke Xie*, Edward H. Sargent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydrogenation of biomass-derived chemicals is of interest for the production of biofuels and valorized chemicals. Thermochemical processes for biomass reduction typically employ hydrogen as the reductant at elevated temperatures and pressures. Here, the authors investigate the direct electrified reduction of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to a precursor to bio-polymers, 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan (BHMF). Noting a limited current density in prior reports of this transformation, a hybrid catalyst consisting of ternary metal nanodendrites mixed with a cationic ionomer, the latter purposed to increase local pH and facilitate surface proton diffusion, is investigated. This approach, when implemented using Ga-doped Ag-Cu electrocatalysts designed for p–d orbital hybridization, steered selectivity to BHMF, achieving a faradaic efficiency (FE) of 58% at 100 mA cm−2 and a production rate of 1 mmol cm−2h−1, the latter a doubling in rate compared to the best prior reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2312778
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 13 2024


  • 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan
  • biomass valorization
  • electrocatalytic reductions
  • nanodendrites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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