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Production enhancement of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural from fructose via mechanical stirring control and high-fructose solution addition

Authors

  • Nan Jiang,

    1. Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianji University, Tianjin, PR China
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  • Wei Qi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianji University, Tianjin, PR China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, PR China
    3. Tianjin Key Laboratory of Membrane Science and Desalination Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin, PR China
    • Correspondence to: Wei Qi, Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, PR China. E-mail: qiwei@tju.edu.cn

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  • Renliang Huang,

    1. Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianji University, Tianjin, PR China
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  • Mengfan Wang,

    1. Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianji University, Tianjin, PR China
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  • Rongxin Su,

    1. Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianji University, Tianjin, PR China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, PR China
    3. Tianjin Key Laboratory of Membrane Science and Desalination Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin, PR China
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  • Zhimin He

    1. Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianji University, Tianjin, PR China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, PR China
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Abstract

BACKGROUND

5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) has attracted increasing attention so that an efficient process for HMF production from high-sugar solution is needed for the successful commercialization of this versatile intermediate in the production of high value chemicals.

RESULTS

Two simple operations, mechanical stirring control and high-fructose solution addition, were applied to the water/butanol system for enhancing fructose-to-HMF reaction using HCl as catalyst. The optimization of stirring speed led to a high HMF yield of 81.7% with 92.0% fructose conversion (0.3 moL L−1 HCl, 1000 rpm). Moreover, a reasonable mechanism describing the effect of stirring speed on HMF yield was proposed. During the process of high-fructose solution (54.6 wt%) addition, the yields of HMF after four additions in every experiment all exceeded 55%, and a HMF yield of 83.3% was achieved after three additions at 1000 rpm.

CONCLUSIONS

The optimization of mechanical stirring in aqueous/butanol media led to a high HMF yield. By studying the kinetics of the fructose-to-HMF reaction, it was demonstrated that a low value of reaction rate constant is of benefit to obtain high HMF yield for this biphasic system. The simple addition process greatly reduced the side-reaction and made the operation more continuous and stable, and thus provided a practical and effective method of HMF preparation in high-fructose solution. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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