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Mechanocatalytic Depolymerization of Dry (Ligno)cellulose As an Entry Process for High-Yield Production of Furfurals

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58928

Rinaldi,  Roberto
Research Group Rinaldi, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons132921

Käldström,  Mats
Research Group Rinaldi, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58985

Schüth,  Ferdi
Research Department Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Carrasquillo-Flores, R., Rinaldi, R., Käldström, M., Schüth, F., & Dumesic, J. A. (2013). Mechanocatalytic Depolymerization of Dry (Ligno)cellulose As an Entry Process for High-Yield Production of Furfurals. ACS Catalysis, 3(5), 993-997. doi:10.1021/cs4001333.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-A355-2
Abstract
Driven by mechanical forces, the acid-catalyzed depolymerization of solid biomass completely overcomes the problems posed by the recalcitrance of lignocellulose. The solid-state reaction leads to water-soluble oligosaccharides, which display higher reactivity than cellulose and hemicellulose. Here, we show that water-soluble oligosaccharides are useful feedstock for the high-yield production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and furfural in biphasic reactors. This is because they readily undergo hydrolysis upon microwave heating, selectively forming monosaccharides as intermediates in the aqueous phase. Short reaction times are possible with the use of microwave heating and limit the extent of degradation reactions. This work provides an ionic-liquid-free approach to process lignocellulosic substrates into HMF and furfural with high yields. In fact, starting this novel approach with alpha-cellulose, yields of HMF of 79% and furfural of 80% at 443 K for 9 min were obtained. The processing of real lignocellulose (e.g., beechwood and sugar cane bagasse) also achieved high yields of HMF and furfural. Thereby, the current results indicate that the process limitation lies no longer in the recalcitrance of lignocellulose, but in the extraction of highly reactive HMF and furfural from the aqueous phase in the biphasic reactor.