• biomass;
  • catalyst;
  • ionic liquids;
  • immobilization;
  • metal chlorides

An attempt is made to immobilize the homogeneous metal chloride/EMIMCl catalyst for glucose dehydration to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. To this end, ionic liquid fragments were grafted to the surface of SBA-15 to generate a heterogenized mimick of the homogeneous reaction medium. Despite a decrease in the surface area, the ordered mesoporous structure of SBA-15 was largely retained. Metal chlorides dispersed in such ionic liquid film are able to convert glucose to HMF with much higher yields as is possible in the aqueous phase. The reactivity order CrCl2 > AlCl3 > CuCl2 > FeCl3 is similar to the order in the ionic liquid solvent, yet the selectivity are lower. The HMF yield of the most promising CrCl2-Im-SBA-15 can be improved by using a H2O:DMSO mixture as the reaction medium and a 2-butanol/MIBK extraction layer. Different attempts to decrease metal chloride leaching by using different solvents are described. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 657–662, 2014