Catalytic conversion of diformylxylose to furfural in biphasic solvent systems

Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2023 Feb 10;11:1146250. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2023.1146250. eCollection 2023.


Biobased furfural is a sustainable alternative to petrochemical intermediates for bulk chemicals and fuel production. However, existing methods for the conversion of xylose or lignocelluloses in mono-/bi-phasic systems to furfural involve non-selective sugar isolation or lignin condensation, limiting the valorisation of lignocelluloses. Herein, we used diformylxylose (DFX), a xylose derivative that is formed during the lignocellulosic fractionation process with formaldehyde protection, as a substitute for xylose to produce furfural in biphasic systems. Under kinetically optimized conditions, over 76 mol% of DFX could be converted to furfural in water-methyl isobutyl ketone system at a high reaction temperature with a short reaction time. Finally, isolation of xylan in eucalyptus wood as DFX with formaldehyde protection followed by converting DFX in a biphasic system gave a final furfural yield of 52 mol% (on the basis of xylan in wood), which was more than two times of that without formaldehyde. Combined with the value-added utilization of formaldehyde-protected lignin, this study would enable the full and efficient utilization of lignocellulosic biomass components and further improve the economics of the formaldehyde protection fractionation process.

PMID:36845179 | PMC:PMC9950390 | DOI:10.3389/fbioe.2023.1146250


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