(653g) Zeolite Bead Heterogeneous Catalysts for Biomass Upgrading in Monophasic and Biphasic GVL Solvent Systems

Romo, J., Montana State University
Wettstein, S. G., Montana State University
Sundsted, T., Montana State University
Carreon, M., Colorado School of Mines
Bond, J. Q., Syracuse University
Lucero, J., Colorado School of Mines
Wu, T., Colorado School of Mines
Due to decreasing fossil fuel reserves, synthesizing value-added products from biomass is of significant interest. However, traditional homogeneous catalysts, such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, can poison downstream catalysts in addition to requiring special handling and resistant materials due to their corrosiveness. In this work, we show promising yields for the synthesis of platform chemicals, like furfural, levulinic acid, and 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF), using solid acid catalysts in monophasic and biphasic systems with g-valerolactone (GVL)/water. Zeolite 5A beads layered with SAPO-34 were used for the dehydration of xylose and glucose to furfural and HMF in monophasic systems. The yields increased significantly using a biphasic GVL/water system. Studies with switchgrass in the biphasic system yielded moderate amounts of furfural, HMF, and levulinic acid. The 5A layered SAPO-34 bead catalysts have potential for easier recovery and recyclability in addition to the 5A zeolite’s chemical and thermal stability. The use of GVL, a solvent readily obtained from biomass, provides a greener chemical pathway for furfural production.