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Issue 74, 2015
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Corncob lignocellulose for the production of furfural by hydrothermal pretreatment and heterogeneous catalytic process

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Abstract

Corncob with a high content of pentose-rich hemicelluloses shows great potential for furfural production. In this paper, an environmentally-friendly two-step process for furfural production was developed by the hydrothermal pretreatment of corncob and the heterogeneous catalysis of the hydrolysate using a solid acid catalyst. The hydrothermal pretreatment was applied to release hemicelluloses from the cell wall of the corncob, which were hydrolyzed into monosaccharide and oligosaccharide under the investigated conditions (160–190 °C, 0–60 min). Subsequently, heterogeneous catalysis of the hydrolysate obtained from the hydrothermal pretreatment was performed using SO42−/SiO2–Al2O3/La3+ as a solid acid catalyst at 150 °C for 2.5 h. The maximum yield of furfural achieved was up to 21% under the investigated experimental conditions from the catalysis of hydrolysates obtained at 190 °C for 60 min in the hydrothermal process. Moreover, there was no obvious change in the catalytic activity of SO42−/SiO2–Al2O3/La3+ after four runs, and only a decline of 5.28% yield of furfural was observed. This two-step process is an environmentally-friendly process for furfural production from pentose-rich biomass and serves as an effective approach for recovering the solid catalyst from the reaction medium.

Graphical abstract: Corncob lignocellulose for the production of furfural by hydrothermal pretreatment and heterogeneous catalytic process

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jun 2015, accepted on 26 Jun 2015 and first published on 26 Jun 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA10472F
RSC Adv., 2015,5, 60264-60272

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    Corncob lignocellulose for the production of furfural by hydrothermal pretreatment and heterogeneous catalytic process

    A. Deng, J. Ren, H. Li, F. Peng and R. Sun, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 60264
    DOI: 10.1039/C5RA10472F

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