Self-assembled nanoparticulates of porous sulfonated carbonaceous TiO2 material that contain Brønsted and Lewis acidic sites were prepared by a one-pot synthesis method. The material was characterized by XRD, FTIR spectroscopy, NH3 temperature-programmed desorption, pyridine FTIR spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, N2-sorption, atomic absorbance spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. The carbonaceous heterogeneous catalyst (Glu-TsOH-Ti) with a Brønsted-to-Lewis acid density ratio of 1.2 and more accessible acid sites was effective to produce 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and furfural from biomass-derived mono- and disaccharides and xylose in a biphasic solvent that comprised water and biorenewable methyltetrahydrofuran. The catalyst was recycled in four consecutive cycles with a total loss of only 3 % activity. Thus, Glu-TsOH-Ti, which contains isomerization and dehydration catalytic sites and is based on a cheap and biorenewable carbon support, is a sustainable catalyst for the production of furfurals, platform chemicals for biofuels and chemicals.
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