The development of new catalytic systems for the conversion of biomass-derived molecules into liquid fuels has attracted much attention. We propose a non-noble bimetallic catalyst based on nickel–tungsten carbide for the conversion of the platform molecules 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural into the liquid-fuel molecule 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF). Different catalysts, metal ratios and reaction conditions have been tested and give rise to a 96% yield of DMF. The catalysts have been characterized and are discussed. The reaction mechanism is also explored through capture of reaction intermediates. The analysis of the reaction mixture over different catalysts is presented and helps to understand the role of nickel and tungsten carbide during the reaction.
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