Production of Sugars from Cellulose in Subcritical and Supercritical Water Using a Non-Isothermal Reactor
Taiying Zhang1, Victor G. J. Rodgers2, and Gary A. Aurand1. (1) Chemical and Biochemical engineering, The University of Iowa, 4133 Seamans Center, Iowa City, IA 52242, (2) Bioengineering, The University of California, Riverside, The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, Bourns Hall, Room A242, Riverside, CA 92521
Cellulose was reacted in subcritical and supercritical water in a non-isothermal tubular reactor. Feed entered the reactor at room temperature, and reactor exit temperatures were in the range of 200-400°C. The products include oligosaccharides, monosaccharides, and other small molecules. Results show that the pressure affects the monosaccharide yield and the ratio of fructose to glucose. As the pressure increased, the monosaccharide yield increased. The yield at the highest pressure of 7500 psig was about 60% at 280°C with a reactor residence time of less than 1 min. Low pressure increased the ratio of fructose to glucose. Results of ongoing reactor modeling using COMSOL Multiphysics™ finite element software will be presented and applied to the interpretation of experimental data.