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Hydrochloric acid-catalyzed levulinic acid formation from cellulose: data and kinetic model to maximize yields

Authors

  • Jiacheng Shen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, United States Dept. of Agriculture, Kimberly, ID 83341
    • Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, United States Dept. of Agriculture, Kimberly, ID 83341
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  • Charles E. Wyman

    1. Center for Environmental Research and Technology, Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside, CA 92507
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  • The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this article/presentation are those of the author/presenter and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies, either expressed or implied, of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or the Department of Defense.

Abstract

In this study, the kinetics of the acid catalyzed hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel PH101) to levulinic (LA) and formic (FA) acids was investigated in a batch reactor over the following range of conditions: 160–200°C, hydrochloric acid concentrations of 0.309–0.927 M (11.3–33.8 g/l), cellulose concentrations of 49.8–149 mM (8.06–24.1 g/l), and residence times of 0–50 min. The maximum LA yield of around 60% of theoretical was achieved for an initial cellulose concentration of 99.6 mM, acid concentration 0.927 M, and 180–200°C. A mathematical model and its analytical solution were developed to predict conversion of cellulose to LA and FA through glucose and hydroxymethyl-2-furfural based on an irreversible pseudo-first order reaction. Rate analysis of each reaction indicated that the rate-controlling step shifted from LA formation initially to HMF formation later. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012

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