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Bioenergy II: Furfural Destruction Kinetics during Sulphuric Acid-Catalyzed Production from Biomass
International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering (2010)
  • Gianluca Marcotullio, Delft University of Technology
  • Miguel A. Tavares Cardoso, Delft University of Technology
  • Wiebren De Jong, Delft University of Technology
  • Ad H.M. Verkooijen, Delft University of Technology
The interest for furfural has increased in the last years due to its potential for competing with oil derivatives as platform chemical. In addition, furfural, derived from C5 sugars, can play a key role in the valorization of the hemicellulose contained in biomass when considering the development of a modern biorefinery concept. The development of such new and competitive biorefinery processes must be based on accurate kinetic data for the reactions involving furfural in the conditions used for its production. This work addresses the determination of furfural destruction kinetics in aqueous acidic environment, using sulphuric acid as catalyst, in the temperature range 150 - 200°C, acid concentration range 36.4 - 145.5 mM and furfural initial concentration between 60.4 and 72.5 mM. These studies were carried out using a recently built lab-scale titanium reactor that enables liquid phase reactions in a relatively broad range of conditions. The obtained results show that destruction of furfural follows first-order reaction kinetics within the range of temperature and acid concentration evaluated. Moreover, the proposed kinetic model takes into account the effects of temperature and acid dilution on the ions activity, and thus H3O+, by using the electrolyte Non-Random Two-Liquid (eNRTL) model. By using this approach, the rate constant dependence on temperature could be described by the Arrhenius law and thus the activation energy could be estimated as being 125.1 [kJ/mol] and the pre-exponential factor 3.71•1011[s-1]. Separation of different reaction products was achieved by means of HPLC, these products were not yet completely identified. Contrarily to what is reported in previous works, formic acid formation from furfural under the tested conditions can be regarded as playing a far less pronounced role than suggested before.
  • furfural,
  • biorefinery,
  • acid catalysis,
  • chemicals from biomass
Publication Date
March 30, 2010
Citation Information
Gianluca Marcotullio, Miguel A. Tavares Cardoso, Wiebren De Jong and Ad H.M. Verkooijen. "Bioenergy II: Furfural Destruction Kinetics during Sulphuric Acid-Catalyzed Production from Biomass" International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering Vol. 7 (2010)
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