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Conversion of Hemicellulose into Furfural Using Solid Acid Catalysts in γ-Valerolactone


  • This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and by the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, through Cooperative Agreement DE-FC02-07ER64494 between The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and the U.S. Department of Energy. We thank Prof. Christos Maravelias, Sercan Murat Sen, and Jee-hoon Han for valuable discussions and help with ASPEN simulations.


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Hold the water: The hemicellulose fraction of lignocellulose can be converted into furfural in high yields (80 %) using solid acid catalysts (H-mordenite) in a monophasic system with γ-valerolactone (GVL) as the solvent. Furfural degradation reactions are decreased significantly when the water concentration in GVL is minimized, thus resulting in high furfural yields.