Continuous electrochemical oxidation of biomass derived 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural into 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid

R. Latsuzbaia*, R. Bisselink, A. Anastasopol, H. van der Meer, R. van Heck, M.S. Yagüe, M. Zijlstra, M. Roelands, M. Crockatt, E. Goetheer, E. Giling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: A continuous electrochemical process with integrated product separation has been developed for production of 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) by oxidation of 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) in aqueous alkaline media on non-noble Ni/NiOOH foam electrodes at ambient conditions. Initially, voltammetry studies were performed in both, acid and alkaline media, on various catalyst materials: Au, Au3Pd2, Pt, PbO2, Ni/NiOOH and graphite. Preparative electrolysis was performed on Au, Au3Pd2, Pt, PbO2, Ni/NiOOH electrodes in a divided glass cell and Ni/NiOOH showed the best performance with an FDCA yield of ≈ 90% and a Faradaic efficiency of ≈ 80%. The electrolysis conditions were then optimized to industrially relevant conditions in a filter-press type flow reactor with Ni/NiOOH foam anode. HMF concentrations as high as 10 wt% were converted to FDCA at pH 12 in a buffer free 0.1 M Na2SO4 electrolyte with continuous addition of NaOH to maintain constant pH. An FDCA separation yield up to 95% was achieved via pH shift crystallization. The electrolysis and FDCA separation results were used for the design and construction of a bench-scale system where continuous FDCA production, including integrated product separation, was tested and reported in this work. This publication for the first time presents a continuous electrochemical FDCA production system with integrated product separation at industrially relevant product concentrations, 10 wt% HMF, and utilizing non-noble electrode materials. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-626
JournalJournal of Applied Electrochemistry
Issue number6
Early online date28 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Continuous production
  • Electroorganic synthesis
  • FDCA
  • HMF
  • Nickel oxy-hydroxide electrode


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