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Keywords:

  • gold;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • oxidation;
  • platform chemicals;
  • supported catalysts
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Aerobic exercise: The biomass-derived platform chemicals furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) are readily oxidized in methanol in the presence of oxygen and a supported gold nanoparticle catalyst to afford the corresponding methyl esters (see scheme). Thus, furfural was oxidized to methyl furoate under very mild conditions, and HMF was converted into furan-2,5-dimethylcarboxylate (FDMC), a potential polymer building block, with high yields.