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Issue 1, 2021
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Fast microflow kinetics and acid catalyst deactivation in glucose conversion to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural

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Abstract

5-Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is an important platform chemical because it can be upgraded to various drop-in and performance-advantaged products. The cascade reaction of HMF production from glucose over a Lewis acid (CrCl3) and a Brønsted acid (HCl) catalyst in aqueous media is investigated in a microreactor at short residence times and high temperatures. We study the formation of various chromium species using UV-visible spectrophotometry and elucidate the Cr(III) speciation. The catalyst reactivity increases sharply at short residence times, and then drops at long times. This indicates that the catalyst treatment plays a vital role in getting optimal reactivity, and recording the catalyst history is necessary. We develop a kinetic model to describe the catalyst speciation as well as the Lewis and Brønsted acid-catalyzed reaction kinetics using a hierarchical approach. The model is in good agreement with experiments. We demonstrate the benefits of tandem Lewis-external added Brønsted acid catalysis in processing time, productivity, and catalyst stability. We apply this model to optimize the HMF yield and obtain ∼36% yield at 200 °C in 7 min and report the highest productivity of ∼15% yield per min, demonstrating the opportunity of reaching high productivity at short residence times.

Graphical abstract: Fast microflow kinetics and acid catalyst deactivation in glucose conversion to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
30 Sep 2020
Accepted
02 Nov 2020
First published
02 Nov 2020

React. Chem. Eng., 2021,6, 152-164
Article type
Paper

Fast microflow kinetics and acid catalyst deactivation in glucose conversion to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural

T. Chen, Z. Cheng, P. Desir, B. Saha and D. G. Vlachos, React. Chem. Eng., 2021, 6, 152
DOI: 10.1039/D0RE00391C

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