I D
× COMMENTARYCOVER STORYIN THE NEWSNEWSFRONTSCHEMENTATOR + Show More
Chementator Briefs
Ultrathin membrane Researchers led by professors Hideto Matsuyama and Tomohisa…
BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILEEQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUS
Focus on Sensors
Wireless transmitters save on level sensor installation Reduce the cost…
NEW PRODUCTS + Show More SHOW PREVIEWS

Comment PDF Processing & Handling

Direct conversion of cellulose to HMF demonstrated

By Chemical Engineering |

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL; Richland, Wash.; www.pln.gov) have published the first direct route for converting plant cellulose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a valuable platform chemical for the production of both plastics and biofuels. Appearing in the June issue of Appl. Cat. A, the research could mark a pathway to less expensive, large-scale production of HMF. Although a two-step process of HMF formation from plant biomass via simple sugars has been demonstrated previously, a mild-temperature, single-step process to convert cellulose directly to HMF has remained elusive. PNNLs conversion process relies on the use of twin metal chlorides (CuCl2 and CrCl2) dissolved in an ionic liquid (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride) at temperatures of 80 to 120°C to catalyze the single-step conversion of cellulose to HMF. In the laboratory, the process achieves an unrefined purity of 96% among recoverable products, and an overall HMF yield of about 55%. Principal investigator Conrad Zhang, who has since left PNNL, says that cellulose depolymerization occurs at a rate one order of magnitude faster than conventional acid-catalyzed hydrolysis. The research group evaluated a wide range of metal chlorides and…
Related Content

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Improving chemical production processes with IIoT and AI technologies
New filtration technology for highly corrosive media
PTA production: Lowering OPEX without compromising on quality
Sure that zero means zero in your zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) process?
How separation processes profit from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions

View More