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Keywords:

  • economic analysis;
  • biomass;
  • p-xylene;
  • 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF);
  • 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)

A novel production of biobased p-xylene from hydroxymethylfurfual has been investigated and presented. This is an important part of a process for the production of aromatics from lignocellulosic biomass. The detailed flow sheets are designed based on laboratory experiments by Leshkov et al. and William et al. and economic analysis has been performed. The minimum biobased p-xylene cost is estimated as $3,962/metric ton, of which the main contribution comes from the HMF cost. Sensitivity analysis has been used to assess the impact of uncertainties of economic parameters and also to determine the most significant reaction factor in the technological development, i.e., selectivity and conversion. It has been shown that high selectivity is favored at the same yield. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 2079–2087, 2013