(682a) Solvent System for Effective Production of Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) with Potential for Process Integration into Current High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Infrastructure
We report production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a valuable platform molecule from biomass-derived carbohydrates at high yields (>90%) and with excellent carbon balance (>95%) using an inexpensive solvent system composed of acetone and water. We demonstrate that HMF, a thermally unstable molecule, can be separated from this low boiling solvent system with high recovery (96%) and purity (99%). We show that fructose is selectively dehydrated in this solvent system from a mixture of glucose and fructose, a property that can be leveraged to integrate the proposed process with current processes for production of high fructose corn syrup. Techno-economic analysis indicates that utilizing fructose as feedstock leads to low investment (16 MM$) and produces HMF at a minimum selling price (MSP) of $ 1710/ton. The MSP can be further reduced to $ 1460/ton by changing the feedstock to glucose.