Rhodium Bimetallic Alloys for Furfural Hydrogenation

Master's Thesis


Concerns of diminishing fossil fuels and global warming have drawn worldwide attention to the development of renewable energy resources. Biomass is a promising alternative due to its abundancy, low cost, CO2 neutrality, and catalytic transformation to industrially valuable chemicals. Furfural is a platform molecule that serves as a biomass feedstock to produce multifunctional chemicals and fuel-like products through hydrogenation. Commercially, copper chromite-based catalysts selectively hydrogenate furfural to furfuryl alcohol. However, the toxicity of chromium and catalyst deactivation have inspired the development of a chromium-free system. Platinum group metals are known for high catalytic activity in hydrogenation reactions, though, rhodium remains understudied compared to platinum, palladium, and ruthenium. Furthermore, literature shows bimetallic systems can further enhance the catalytic hydrogenation performance. Herein, we report the synthesis and characterization of rhodium-based monometallic and bimetallic catalysts. Experimental results show second metal modifiers, metal molar ratio, and solvent environment influence the activity of furfural hydrogenation.


Attribute NameValues
Author Aubrey Jeffries
Contributor Alexander Mukasyan, Committee Member
Contributor Jason Hicks, Research Director
Contributor Paul McGinn, Committee Member
Contributor Bill Schneider, Committee Member
Contributor Casey O'Brien, Research Director
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Degree Name Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Banner Code

Defense Date
  • 2021-08-19

Submission Date 2021-12-01
  • Catalysis

  • Furfural Hydrogenation

  • Biomass

  • Rhodium Alloys

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record

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