Catalytic hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol in Pd-Cu membrane reactor

Huiyuan Gao, Yongdan Li, Jerry Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The performance of the membrane reactor (MR) for the hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol over a Cu/MgO-K2O catalyst prepared by the coprecipitation method as a model reaction was studied. The membrane reactor was composed of double-tube and operated with separate feed, i.e., furfural vapor with carrier gas flowed over the catalyst bed in the tube, and hydrogen permeated through Pd-Cu alloy composite membrane from shell side to tube side. The effect on conversion, selectivity and yield was investigated for different parameters such as temperature, hydrogen to furfural feed molar ratio and feed rate. Performance comparison between MR and the conventional packed-bed reactor (PBR) was made. The results showed that MR gave higher yield and better selectivity of the product and less side-products as compared to PBR under the same operation conditions. In addition, on the basis of the information obtained by the characterization of catalyst composition, structure and morphology, activity and deactivation behavior of the catalyst were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-699
Number of pages7
JournalHuagong Xuebao/Journal of Chemical Industry and Engineering (China)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006


  • Catalytic hydrogenation
  • Furfural
  • Furfuryl alcohol
  • Membrane reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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