A method of oxidizing hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) includes providing a starting material which includes HMF in a solvent comprising water into a reactor. At least one of air and O.sub.2 is provided into the reactor. The starting material is contacted with the catalyst comprising Pt on a support material where the contacting is conducted at a reactor temperature of from about 50.degree. C. to about 200.degree. C. A method of producing an oxidation catalyst where ZrO.sub.2 is provided and is calcined. The ZrO.sub.2 is mixed with platinum (II) acetylacetonate to form a mixture. The mixture is subjected to rotary evaporation to form a product. The product is calcined and reduced under hydrogen to form an activated product. The activated product is passivated under a flow of 2% O.sub.2.