Sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy and kinetic measurements obtained from gas chromatography were used to study the adsorption and hydrogenation of 2-methylfuran (MF) and 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF) over cubic Pt nanoparticles of 7 nm average size, synthesized by colloidal methods and cleaned by ultraviolet light and ozone treatment. Reactions carried out at atmospheric pressure in the temperature range of 20-120 °C produced dihydro and tetrahydro species, as well as ring-opening products (alcohols) and ring-cracking products, showing high selectivity toward ring opening throughout the entire temperature range. The aromatic rings (MF and DMF) adsorbed parallel to the nanoparticle surface. Results yield insight into various surface reaction intermediates and the reason for the significantly lower selectivity for ring cracking in DMF hydrogenation compared to MF hydrogenation. © 2011 American Chemical Society.