384896 Extraction of Furfural from It's Aqueous Solution with a Novel Solvent

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 9:20 AM
302 (Hilton Atlanta)
Olga Ershova1, Juha-Pekka Pokki2, Anna Zaytseva2 and Herbert Sixta1, (1)Department of Forest Products Technology, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, (2)Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland

Furfural is a platform chemical produced from pentoses. It is utilized in the chemical industry for synthesizing solvents, adhesives, medicines, and plastics. The main sources of pentosans are corn cob, bagasse, wheat and rice straw. Hardwoods can be used as alternative source for furfural production as they are rich in pentosans and prehydrolysis of birch allows the separation of almost 9% of xylan on wood.

Furfural is produced by acid catalyzed dehydration of pentoses which are released during the hydrolysis of pentose-rich lignocellulosic substrates such as birch wood.  When the dehydration reaction is carried out in purely aqueous solution, the formed furfural is present in a rather low concentration.  In this case, the liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) is an attractive way for the selective concentration of furfural. In the literature many solvents, such as supercritical CO2, methyl-isobutyl ketone (MIBK), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and others have been studied for the extraction of furfural from its aqueous solutions.

In this study, a novel solvent has been applied for the selective extraction of furfural from a highly diluted aqueous solution. The effect of the initial furfural concentration and the presence of organic acids, such as formic and acetic, on the extraction efficiency was investigated. The liquid-liquid equilibrium for ternary system furfural-water-organic solvent has been measured. In addition, vapor-liquid equilibrium and excess enthalpy for the binary system furfural-organic solvent has been measured. The results obtained in this research will lead to a development of novel method for furfural extraction from its diluted aqueous mixture.


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See more of this Session: Developments in Extractive Solvents and Processes
See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division