HMF is an important chemical product since it has the potential to be used as a feedstock to replace petroleum-derived aromatics for production of a range of specialty chemicals and plastics.In this work, we will demonstrate an economically-viable, ionic liquid catalytic process for conversion of biomass-derived raw sugar to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural(HMF). The experimental work includes preparation of adsorbents materials by membrane coating, catalytic reactions in ionic liquid fluids and separation of reacted products by extraction and adsorption, which includes (i) catalytic reaction tests in both a batch and flow reactor system to develop systematic understandings to critical process operation parameters and establish material balances, and (ii) screening of adsorbents and identification of an effective adsorption process for separation of HMF product from reaction mixtures and for complete recovery of the catalyst and ionic liquid.The adsorbent materials tested for this project were characterized by XRD, SEM/EDS and Nitrogen adsorbtion/desorption technology.
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