Engineering the future: Perspectives in the 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid synthesis

In this work we present a perspective study on the synthesis of 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a highly promising building block for resins and polymers. FDCA is presumed as a green replacement for (fossil-based) terephthalate – a predominant compound in polymer and resin manufacture nowadays, with a potential market size of several 100 M€. However, the use of FDCA is still limited because due to its high price and the several issues linked to its industrial scale production. Herein we discuss the synthesis of FDCA from glucose using heterogeneous catalysts and base-free conditions emphasizing also the possibilities and the perspectives in an efficient FDCA production process directly from glucaric acid (glucose derivative) applying new-engineered nanocatalysts (hybrid catalysts). These processes are able to avoid the non-selective and highly expensive step of glucose isomerization to fructose.