Renewable biomass is an ideal alternative for fossil resources to supply sustainable raw material for the production of biofuels and chemicals. 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) is one of the top building-block chemicals from biomass according to the “Top Value Added Chemicals” proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy.It can be produced from hexoses, inulin, wood and other lignocellulosic biomass with catalysts. 5-HMF can be further converted into biochemicals and biofuels, such as PET plastics, 2,5-dimethylfuran and other liquid alkanes that can be used as transportation fuel.

  Biomass group ( at Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, synthesized six solid acid catalysts by carbonization and sulfonation of raw biomass materials for the production of 5-HMF. Carbonaceous catalysts were characterized by TG-DTA, 13C MAS NMR, FT-IR, XRD, Raman, TPD and elemental analyzer. The production of 5-HMF was successfully demonstrated by the dehydration of fructose and glucose using lignin-derived solid acid catalyst in DMSO-[BMIM][Cl] (dimethyl sulfoxide and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride) mixtures. It was found that lignin-derived solid acid catalyst (LCC) was the most active one in the dehydration of sugars. LCC coupled with microwave irradiation was used for the 5-HMF production, 84% 5-HMF yield with 98% fructose conversion rate was achieved at110 °C for 10 min. Furthermore, 99% glucose was converted with 68% 5-HMF yield under severer condition (160 °C for 50 min). LCC was recycled for five times, 5-HMF yield declined only 7%. It is concluded that LCC is an ideal catalyst for 5-HMF production, microwave and DMSO-[BMIM][Cl] can effectively promote the dehydration.

  This work entitled “Conversion of fructose and glucose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural with lignin-derived carbonaceous catalyst under microwave irradiation in dimethyl sulfoxide-ionic liquid mixtures” authored by Feng Guo and Zhen FANG was published online in Bioresource Technology:



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