Cooperative Brønsted-Lewis acid sites created by phosphotungstic acid encapsulated metal–organic frameworks for selective glucose conversion to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural

Mohammad Shahinur Rahaman, Sarttrawut Tulaphol, Md Anwar Hossain, Jacek B. Jasinski, Ning Sun, Anthe George, Blake A. Simmons, Thana Maihom, Mark Crocker, Noppadon Sathitsuksanoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) from biomass-derived glucose has great potential for synthesis of renewable fuels and chemicals. Selective glucose conversion to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural requires a balance between Lewis and Brønsted acids for the cascade of glucose isomerization followed by fructose dehydration. A dual Brønsted-Lewis acid, phosphotungstic acid encapsulated MIL-101(Al)–NH2 metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) was developed to catalyze the glucose dehydration reaction. The encapsulated catalysts had a high HMF selectivity of 58% at 44% glucose conversion at 120 °C in [C4C1im]Cl. Phosphotungstic acid was uniformly dispersed in the MOF pores, which provided both Brønsted and Lewis acid sites for this cascade reaction. The Brønsted acidic phosphotungstic acid-encapsulated MOF catalyst was stable and recyclable at least four times. These findings explain the effect of phosphotungstic acid location for maximizing the HMF selectivity and suggest a new approach for the design of bifunctional solid acid catalysts for selective HMF production from glucose. Moreover, the tunability of the acid properties of the encapsulated MOF catalysts provides opportunities for other biomass transformations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122459
StatePublished - Feb 15 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A part of this material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1355438 and Internal Research Grant, Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, University of Louisville. This work was performed in part at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville, which belongs to the National Science Foundation NNCI KY Manufacturing and Nano Integration Node, supported by ECCS-1542174. The authors would like to thank Dr. Howard Fried for his valuable comments and suggestions on the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cooperative
  • Encapsulation
  • Glucose dehydration
  • Hydroxymethylfurfural
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Phosphotungstic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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