Biomass derived carbohydrates and related raw materials are the most abundant renewable resources available which have
great potential as bio-fuels and chemical building blocks for a diverse range of applications. They can reduce to a large extent our over
dependence on fossil-fuel resources. Over the past decade, various acid and/or base catalysts have been used to transform biomass
resources into different kinds of furans, providing a feasible way for sustainable energy supply and chemicals. Compared to homogeneous
catalytic systems, transformations mediated by heterogeneous catalysts are often associated with distinct advantages such as easy
separation, reusability, lower catalyst loading, anti-corrosion effects and simple operation for continuous conversion. In this review, the
direct transformation of biomass into furans with the help of heterogeneous catalysts is discussed. The effects of reaction conditions on
the intrinsic reactivity and selectivity of each catalytic system are assessed; special emphasis has been paid to comprehend the mechanism
for the synthesis of furan-based compounds from biomass resources using heterogeneous catalysts.
Keywords: Bio-fuels, biomass resources, heterogeneous catalysis, furans, furfural, heterogeneous, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, valuable chemicals.
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