Catalytic Conversion of Xylose-Rich Hydrolyzate from Autohydrolysis into Furfural | AIChE

Catalytic Conversion of Xylose-Rich Hydrolyzate from Autohydrolysis into Furfural


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Annual Meeting

Presentation Date

November 17, 2014


25 minutes

Skill Level




                                   Catalytic conversion of xylose-rich hydrolyzate from autohydrolysis into furfural


Lu Liu*, Jing Du, Hou-min Chang, Hasan Jameel, Sunkyu Park

Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

                                                                         * Presenting author:

Furfural, the dehydration product of xylose, can be served as a sustainable substitute for petroleum-based building blocks used in production of fine chemicals and plastics. Aiming at the improvement of current method to produce furfural from xylose, our study is focused on an efficient and environmentally friendly method to produce furfural using the autolydrolysis hydrolyzate from lignocellulosic biomass. The optimization process of temperature, pressure, and other experimental conditions in lab-scale are described based on xylose conversion and furfural yield in both systems, pure xylose solution and biomass hydrolyzate. Different types of solid catalyst and solvent system were applied to compare with non-catalytic scenario to achieve high yield of furfural production. In model system of pure xylose solution, the furfural yield was not significantly improved by adding catalyst, while the xylose conversion yield was significantly increased. About 40% furfural yield was achieved in 2% xylose solution after 3 hours of reaction in non-catalytic scenario with about 30% xylose left. With biomass hydrolyzate from autohydrolysis, an enhanced furfural yield and xylose conversion yield was achieved. To maximize conversion yield of xylose, a reactor was modified to allow the produced furfural and steam to be released and collected. The challenges and opportunities of hydrolyzate conversion into furfural will be discussed in details, considering hydrolyzate impurities, conversion mechanism, and scale-up feasibility.


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