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Titanium dioxide was selectively grown on reduced graphene oxide (TiO 2 /RGO) and carbon black (TiO 2 / CB) by a microwave-assisted synthesis in benzyl alcohol to produce nanocomposite catalysts (consisting of 8-9 nm anatase nanoparticles dispersed on the carbon surface) with interesting properties for the production of furfural from renewable carbohydrate biomass. The materials efficiently catalyze the aqueous-phase dehydration of xylose into furfural at 170 uC with high furfural yieldsdoi:10.1039/c2ra22874b fatcat:44zeg45t5zhhrcq5pdqo2iabgm