Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol.206, 364-377, 2017
Microwave-assisted dehydration of fructose and inulin to HMF catalyzed by niobium and zirconium phosphate catalysts
5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (HMF) is a key bio-based platform for the production of renewable monomers and bio-fuels. However, most of its syntheses are carried out under not sustainable conditions. In this work, the production of HMF from fructose and inulin was investigated following the Green Chemistry principles, adopting aqueous medium, appreciable substrate concentration (10wt%), low loading of heterogeneous acid catalyst (niobium or zirconium phosphate) and microwave heating. Both the catalysts resulted very active and promising, in particular zirconium phosphate and the performances were related to their different acid characteristics. The optimization of HMF synthesis with zirconium phosphate was also supported by a statistical modelling, which shows that the highest yield to HMF (about 40 mol%) is ascertained at high temperature (190 degrees C) and short reaction time (8 min). The catalysts resulted recyclable maintaining their starting activity almost unchanged. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Fructose;5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde;Phosphate acid catalysts;Microwaves;Response surface methodology