Improving the production of trimers of methyl furan for conversion to diesel range hydrocarbons
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Stuart K. Black1, David K. Johnson2 and Luc Moens1, (1)National Bioenergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, (2)Biosciences Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
Improving the production of timers of methyl furan for conversion to diesel range hydrocarbons.

Stuart Black, David Johnson, Luc Moens

2-furfuraldehyde is a common byproduct in the aqueous stream from the acid hydrolysis of biomass.  Under relatively mild conditions, 2-furfuraldehyde may be converted to methyl furan, which may be used directly as an octane enhancer for gasoline-fueled vehicles.  Methyl furan may also be converted to a fifteen carbon compound, 5,5-bis(5-methyl-2-furanyl)-2-pentanone, which can be deoxygenated and reduced to a diesel range hydrocarbon.  The literature conditions for the biphasic reaction utilize strongly acidic conditions (24% H2SO4) and 16 hour reaction times to condense the methyl furan.  The goal of this research was to reduce the time and acid concentration required for the condensation.  Using a microwave reactor to quickly screen conditions of time, temperature and acid content, the time and acid content have been significantly reduced while avoiding side reactions to higher molecular weight materials.  Investigations into scaling the reaction and producing diesel range hydrocarbons utilizing catalytic deoxygenation and hydrogenation are being pursued.