Production of Furfural from Process-Relevant Biomass-Derived Pentoses in a Biphasic Reaction System

Ashutosh Mittal, Stuart Black, Todd Vinzant, David Johnson, Melvin Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Furfural is an important fuel precursor which can be converted to hydrocarbon fuels and fuel intermediates. In this work, the production of furfural by dehydration of process-relevant pentose rich corn stover hydrolyzate using a biphasic batch reaction system has been investigated. Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) and toluene have been used to extract furfural and enhance overall furfural yield by limiting its degradation to humins. The effects of reaction time, temperature, and acid concentration (H2SO4) on pentose conversion and furfural yield were investigated. For the dehydration of 8 wt % pentose-rich corn stover hydrolyzate under optimum reaction conditions, 0.05 M H2SO4, 170 °C for 20 min with MIBK as the solvent, complete conversion of xylose (98-100%) and a furfural yield of 80% were obtained. Under these same conditions, except with toluene as the solvent, the furfural yield was 77%. Additionally, dehydration of process-relevant pentose rich corn stover hydrolyzate using solid acid ion-exchange resins under optimum reaction conditions has shown that Purolite CT275 is as effective as H2SO4 for obtaining furfural yields approaching 80% using a biphasic batch reaction system. This work has demonstrated that a biphasic reaction system can be used to process biomass-derived pentose rich sugar hydrolyzates to furfural in yields approaching 80%.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5694-5701
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume5
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-67212

Keywords

  • Biofuels
  • Biphasic
  • Dehydration
  • Furfural
  • Pentose
  • Xylose

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