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Issue 8, 2006
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A kinetic study on the decomposition of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural into levulinic acid

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Abstract

Levulinic acid (LA), accessible by the acid catalyzed degradation of biomass, is potentially a very versatile green intermediate chemical for the synthesis of various (bulk) chemicals for applications like fuel additives, polymers, and resin precursors. We report here a kinetic study on one of the key steps in the conversion of biomass to levulinic acid, i.e. the reaction of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to levulinic acid. The kinetic experiments were performed in a temperature window of 98–181 °C, acid concentrations between 0.05–1 M, and initial HMF concentrations between 0.1 and 1 M. The highest LA yield was 94% (mol/mol), obtained at an initial HMF concentration of 0.1 M and a sulfuric acid concentration of 1 M. The yield at full HMF conversion is independent of the temperature. An empirical rate expression for the main reaction as well as the side reaction to undesired humins was developed using the power law approach. Agreement between experimental and model data is good. The rate expressions were applied to gain insights into optimum process conditions for batch processing.

Graphical abstract: A kinetic study on the decomposition of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural into levulinic acid

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Dec 2005, accepted on 22 May 2006 and first published on 22 Jun 2006


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B518176C
Citation: Green Chem., 2006,8, 701-709
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    A kinetic study on the decomposition of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural into levulinic acid

    B. Girisuta, L. P. B. M. Janssen and H. J. Heeres, Green Chem., 2006, 8, 701
    DOI: 10.1039/B518176C

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