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Keywords:

  • biomass;
  • carbenes;
  • fuels;
  • 5-hydroxymethylfurfural;
  • organocatalysis
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Combo deal: Biomass furaldehydes are upgraded into oxygenated diesel and high-quality C10–12 linear alkane fuels. The first of two steps involves solvent-free self-condensation (Umpolung) through organocatalysis using an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC), yielding C10–C12 furoin intermediates. In the metal–acid tandem catalysis step, in water, the furoin intermediates are converted into oxygenated biodiesel by hydrogenation, etherification or esterification; or into premium alkane jet fuels by hydrodeoxygenation.