(136a) Selective Dehydration of Monosaccharides to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural: Catalyst and Solvent Effects
A key obstacle in the conversion of biomass to chemicals is the selective removal of excess oxygen functionality. To approach this, we have investigated the dehydration of monosaccharides to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) using solid acid catalysts and separation friendly solvents. HMF is a versatile platform chemical which has applications in a range of industries including uses for polymers, pharmaceuticals, and fuels. The production of HMF is limited due to degradation reactions of HMF and the monosaccharide starting material under acidic conditions. To limit these degradation reactions, previous research has employed difficult to separate solvents and homogeneous catalysts. In this work we have explored the use of solid acid catalysts including a set of mesoporous SBA-15 materials functionalized with modified sulfonic acid groups. Catalysts were studied in a flow reactor system to monitor the stability. Catalysts were characterized using solid-state NMR, powder XRD, elemental analysis, and N2 adsorption/desorption. We have found that hydrophobic functional groups incorporated into the framework of the solid acid catalysts increase the catalyst stability.