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Energies 2018, 11(3), 645; doi:10.3390/en11030645

Sucrose Is a Promising Feedstock for the Synthesis of the Platform Chemical Hydroxymethylfurfural

Institute for Catalysis Research and Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Institute of Agricultural Engineering, University of Hohenheim, Garbenstrasse 9, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) has an outstanding position among bio-based platform chemicals, because high-value polymer precursors and fuel additives can be derived from HMF. Unfortunately, the large-scale industrial production of HMF is not yet realized. An open research question is the choice of hexose feedstock material. In this study, we used the highly available disaccharide sucrose for HMF synthesis. The conversion of sucrose was catalyzed by sulfuric acid in water media. Experiments were conducted at temperatures of 180, 200, and 220 °C with reaction times of 2–24 min. A carbon balance showed that the yield of unwanted side products rose strongly with temperature. We also developed a kinetic model for the conversion of sucrose, involving nine first-order reactions, to uncover the kinetics of the main reaction pathways. Within this model, HMF is produced exclusively via the dehydration of fructose. Glucose isomerizes slowly to fructose. Side products arise simultaneously from glucose, fructose, and HMF. A pathway from hexoses to xylose via reverse aldol reaction was also included in the model. We believe that sucrose is the ideal feedstock for large-scale production of HMF because it is more abundant than fructose, and easier to process than sugars obtained from lignocellulosic biomass. View Full-Text
Keywords: kinetics; glucose; fructose; sugar dehydration; HMF; hydrothermal; hydrolysis; acid-catalysed kinetics; glucose; fructose; sugar dehydration; HMF; hydrothermal; hydrolysis; acid-catalysed

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Steinbach, D.; Kruse, A.; Sauer, J.; Vetter, P. Sucrose Is a Promising Feedstock for the Synthesis of the Platform Chemical Hydroxymethylfurfural. Energies 2018, 11, 645.

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