Furfural and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural Production from Sugar Mixture Using Deep Eutectic Solvent/MIBK System

ChemistryOpen. 2021 Oct;10(10):1004-1012. doi: 10.1002/open.202100163.


Choline chloride (ChCl) / glycolic acid (GA) deep eutectic solvent (DES) media with high water content but without any additional catalyst are introduced in furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) production. The effects of water content, reaction time, and reaction temperature are investigated with two feedstocks: a glucose/xylose mixture and birch sawdust. Based on the results, 10 equivalent quantities of water (32.9 wt.%) were revealed to be beneficial for conversions without rupturing the DES structure. The optimal reaction conditions were 160 °C and 10 minutes for the sugar mixture and 170 °C and 10 minutes for birch sawdust in a microwave reactor. High furfural yields were achieved, namely 62 % from the sugar mixture and 37.5 % from birch sawdust. HMF yields were low, but since the characterization of the solid residue of sawdust, after DES treatment, was revealed to contain only cellulose (49 %) and lignin (52 %), the treatment could be potentially utilized in a biorefinery concept where the main products are obtained from the cellulose fraction. Extraction of products into the organic phase (methyl isobutyl ketone, MIBK) during the reaction enabled the recycling of the DES phase, and yields remained high for three runs of recycling.

PMID:34617679 | DOI:10.1002/open.202100163


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