Solving problems: An isopropyl alcohol-mediated reaction system for the production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) from fructose reaches a yield of up to 87 %. The solvent can be easily recycled by evaporation, giving the HMF product. The system avoids the use of large amounts of organic solvent, has a minimal environmental impact, and offers a new route to large-scale economically viable processes.
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