Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Napoleon Ballroom C-D, 3rd fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
5-HMF is a key intermediate and a flexible platform for producing chemicals and fuels that can substitute today’s petroleum-derived feedstocks. A key challenge in 5-HMF production from algae biomass (e.g. agarose) is to understand the mechanism of catalysis reactions. A series of experiments over a range of temperatures of 120°C - 220°C, catalysts (e.g. mineral acid, salts of alkali metal, salts of alkaline earth metal and salts of transition metal) concentrations of 0.1-5% (wt/wt), substrate concentrations of 2% (wt/wt), and residence times of 5-30min were carried out to validate route for selective production of 5-HMF. We observed that salts of alkali metal and salts of alkaline earth metal, such as NaCl, KCl and CaCl2, showed better selectivity for formation of 5-HMF than salts of transition metals, e.g. CuCl2 and ZnCl2, which formed byproducts either levulinic acid and formic acid, or glyceraldehyde and lactic acid with varying yields in addition to 5-HMF production. Compared with these inorganic salts, treatment with mineral acid (e.g. H2SO4) resulted in the poorest selectivity with formation of various byproducts, including levulinic acid, formic acid, glyceraldehyde and lactic acid. A first order kinetic model was applied to the overall degradation process of agarose for catalyst selection to derive the formation of 5-HMF. Related by-products will also be addressed in this presentation.