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Production of 5-Hydroxymethyl Furfural from Hexose Sugars Using Acid Catalysts

Stark, Therese LU and Gustavsson, David LU (2017) KBT820 20162
Biotechnology
Department of Chemistry
Abstract
Increased population and living standards promotes an unsustainable usage of natural resources. In recent years, increased focus has been put on the bio-refinery industry which shows promising attributes where 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is a prominent platform chemical. In this project, production of HMF from fructose using primarily acid silica under benign reaction conditions was investigates including the effect of temperature, substrate and catalyst in addition to extraction of silica from rice husk for use as catalyst. Optimization regarding monophasic production has been performed, resulting in a conversion yield of 0.95 mol HMF/mol fructose in DMSO with 5.0 g/L silica activated with sulfuric acid. Low productivity and efficiency... (More)
Increased population and living standards promotes an unsustainable usage of natural resources. In recent years, increased focus has been put on the bio-refinery industry which shows promising attributes where 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is a prominent platform chemical. In this project, production of HMF from fructose using primarily acid silica under benign reaction conditions was investigates including the effect of temperature, substrate and catalyst in addition to extraction of silica from rice husk for use as catalyst. Optimization regarding monophasic production has been performed, resulting in a conversion yield of 0.95 mol HMF/mol fructose in DMSO with 5.0 g/L silica activated with sulfuric acid. Low productivity and efficiency was a consistent trend in respect to biphasic production. However, the benefits associated indicate that there is further room for optimization in implementation of industrially scaled production. An integrated process including enzymatic substrate isomerization, production and purification adapting a biphasic system was thus proposed. Different solvents have been examined where the highest productivity of 11 (g/(L·h)) and corresponding yield of 18 mol% at 120°C after 120 min, was achieved in a methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)/water/salt – system. (Less)
Popular Abstract
5-Hydroxymethyl Furfural – A Prominent Green Platform Chemical with a Wide Variety of Applications

Due to the ongoing unsustainable usage of natural resources throughout the world, more focus is being put on alternative energy and material sources of biobased origin. 5-Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is an organic compound with two functional groups, contributing to a high versatility as a platform chemical. Accordingly, HMF is a prominent substitute to many existing petroleum products with applications within the plastic and fuel industry.

Over 300 million tons of plastic is annually produced. It is estimated that half of this amount is discarded only after one usage. Furthermore, about 8 million tons end up in the oceans in which... (More)
5-Hydroxymethyl Furfural – A Prominent Green Platform Chemical with a Wide Variety of Applications

Due to the ongoing unsustainable usage of natural resources throughout the world, more focus is being put on alternative energy and material sources of biobased origin. 5-Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is an organic compound with two functional groups, contributing to a high versatility as a platform chemical. Accordingly, HMF is a prominent substitute to many existing petroleum products with applications within the plastic and fuel industry.

Over 300 million tons of plastic is annually produced. It is estimated that half of this amount is discarded only after one usage. Furthermore, about 8 million tons end up in the oceans in which petroleum based plastics do not naturally degrade. This results in accumulation, causing over 600 marine life species to suffer from pollution. A possible solution is to replace petroleum based products with renewable and bio-degradable alternatives. 5-Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is a prominent compound for this purpose and can be derived from sugars. This results in less contribution to environmental pollution and greenhouse effect.

It has been known for decades that HMF is a versatile building block but an efficient, economically feasible industrial process has still not been found. The compound can be produced from fructose with addition of an acid catalyst, promoting the reaction. Nevertheless, fructose is a more expensive substrate than glucose. A drawback using glucose relates to low selectivity resulting in a wide variety of byproducts. Hence, an enzymatic pretreatment step to convert glucose to fructose is proposed. Optimal reaction conditions using the enzyme glucose isomerase are presented in the written report.

Setbacks with HMF production are related to high costs and environmentally non-friendly reaction conditions. To optimize the production, an investigation regarding the dependence of temperature, substrate, catalyst and solvent was performed. Best results were obtained at a temperature of 120°C using fructose as substrate with the addition of silica loaded with sulfuric acid as catalyst in the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). However, separation with DMSO is problematic due to its high boiling point combined with the reactive nature of HMF.

To circumvent the purification problems, a biphasic system was introduced. The main idea is to have an aqueous phase, in which HMF is produced, and an organic phase, which will extract the product and thus avoid deformation. This enables usage of water as a green and cheap solvent. Purification will also be facilitated since low boiling point organic solvents can be used.

An integrated and continuous HMF process including substrate pretreatment, biphasic production and purification is suggested. Although low experimental productivities were attained, research indicates that there is room for optimization. The field of bio-refinery industries is rapidly expanding owing to increased knowledge and public awareness. This will hopefully contribute to a greener and more sustainable society. (Less)
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author
Stark, Therese LU and Gustavsson, David LU
supervisor
organization
course
KBT820 20162
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
HMF, biotechnology, bioteknik
language
English
id
8903867
date added to LUP
2017-03-02 10:51:37
date last changed
2017-03-02 10:51:37
@misc{8903867,
  abstract     = {Increased population and living standards promotes an unsustainable usage of natural resources. In recent years, increased focus has been put on the bio-refinery industry which shows promising attributes where 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is a prominent platform chemical. In this project, production of HMF from fructose using primarily acid silica under benign reaction conditions was investigates including the effect of temperature, substrate and catalyst in addition to extraction of silica from rice husk for use as catalyst. Optimization regarding monophasic production has been performed, resulting in a conversion yield of 0.95 mol HMF/mol fructose in DMSO with 5.0 g/L silica activated with sulfuric acid. Low productivity and efficiency was a consistent trend in respect to biphasic production. However, the benefits associated indicate that there is further room for optimization in implementation of industrially scaled production. An integrated process including enzymatic substrate isomerization, production and purification adapting a biphasic system was thus proposed. Different solvents have been examined where the highest productivity of 11 (g/(L·h)) and corresponding yield of 18 mol% at 120°C after 120 min, was achieved in a methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)/water/salt – system.},
  author       = {Stark, Therese and Gustavsson, David},
  keyword      = {HMF,biotechnology,bioteknik},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Production of 5-Hydroxymethyl Furfural from Hexose Sugars Using Acid Catalysts},
  year         = {2017},
}