(669g) Techno-Economic Analysis of Production of Mixed-Furans from Biomass Hydrolysate | AIChE

(669g) Techno-Economic Analysis of Production of Mixed-Furans from Biomass Hydrolysate


Gogar, R. - Presenter, University of Toledo
Viamajala, S., University of Toledo
Relue, P., The University of Toledo
Varanasi, S., The University of Toledo
Lignocellulosic biomass is a sustainable feedstock for production of furans – 5-hydroxymethy furfural (HMF) and furfural – versatile platform molecules that can be converted to gasoline additives and bio-based polymers. Furans can also be used to synthesize wide-array of industrially-important molecules like γ-valerolactone, 1,6-hexanediol, adipic acid, tetrahydrofuran, levulinic acid, etc. Noteworthy among these is furandicarboxylic acid – a precursor for polyethylene furanoate that can replace fossil-derived polyethylene terephthalate. We present a techno-economic analysis of a process for high-yield production of mixed-furans (5-hydroxymethyfurfural and furfural) using the recently developed Simultaneous-Isomerization-Reactive-Extraction and Back-Extraction (SIRE-BE) process followed by dehydration.1

In the SIRE-BE-Dehydration process, glucose and xylose are first isomerized to corresponding ketose forms (i.e. fructose and xylulose) that are selectively extracted into an immiscible organic phase. Next, the keto-sugars are back extracted from the organic phase into an acidic water medium. Keto-sugars undergoes dehydration reaction in presence of acetone solvent, which is uniquely suited for high-yield of furans by solvation. Finally, the formed furans and acetone are extracted into non-polar toluene and simultaneously separation of water is achieved. We simulated the steady state operation of a SIRE-BE-Dehydration process in a bio-refinery with feed rate of 1000 MT of mixed-sugars per day. Using discounted cash flow analysis, the Minimum Furan Selling Price (MFSP) was estimated to be $1.50 /kg – a promising price-point for industrially-important chemical products. Sensitivity analyses identified that the overall yield and feedstock sugar costs as key factors affecting the Minimum Furan Selling Price. With reasonable pathway to achieve a price which is competitive to be used for fuel application and polymer precursors will be discussed.

1 Alipour, S.; Relue, P. A.; Viamajala, S.; Varanasi, S., High yield 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural production from biomass sugars under facile reaction conditions: a hybrid enzyme- and chemo-catalytic technology. Green Chem. 2017, 19 (7), 1782.