282852 One-Pot Homogeneous Synthesis of Furfural From High Purity Xylulose in Aqueous Media

Monday, October 29, 2012: 4:05 PM
322 (Convention Center )
Bin Li, Bioengineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, Sasidhar Varanasi, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH and Patricia Relue, Department of Bioengineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

As prices of and environmental concerns over fossil energy increase, the utilization of renewable biomass as a source of energy and chemicals has received considerable attention. Furfural is an important chemical that can be obtained from biomass. Furfural can be used itself as a drop-in fuel or as a precursor to many important chemicals and fuels, such as furfuryl alcohol and jet and diesel fuel.

Much research in furfural production has focused on the dehydration of xylose through homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysis in either water or ionic liquid solvents. Furfural production from xylose is typically catalyzed under high temperature and pressure to minimize side-product formation and increase reaction kinetics and furfural yield.

Some pathways to furfural suggest xylulose as an intermediate in the conversion of xylose to furfural. The isomerization of xylose to xylulose can be enzymatically-catalyzed under temperature and pH conditions incompatible with dehydration, but suffers from an unfavorable xylulose yield. To date, no one has reported high-yield production of furfural directly from xylulose due to the excessive cost of high purity xylulose. Using our previously developed method for producing concentrated xylulose at high purity, we report here high-yield, high-selectivity conversion of xylulose to furfural through homogeneous synthesis under relatively low temperature conditions with minimal side-product formation.

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See more of this Session: Catalytic Biomass Conversion to Chemicals
See more of this Group/Topical: Fuels and Petrochemicals Division