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Optimisation of catalytic production of 5-HMF and furfural using Phosphotungstic-derived heteropoly acids

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zongyuan ZhuORCiD, Professor Kamelia Boodhoo, Dr Fernando Russo AbegaoORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Phosphotungstic-derived heteropoly acids (HPW) catalysts, where one atom of W was replaced by Cu, Zn or Sn, were synthesised and supported on alumina. The catalysts were applied in C5/C6 sugar dehydration to produce furfural/5-hydroxymethylfurfural. The HPW-Sn/Al2O3 catalyst contributed to the best products yields, because its highest Brønsted acidity (0.023 µmol/g) which facilitated sugar dehydration, and moderate Lewis acidity (0.477 µmol/g) which was beneficial to xylose and glucose isomerisation. The influence of process conditions, including temperature (120-160 ?), time (1-3 h), and sugar to catalyst mass ratio (50 and 25), on sugar conversion and yields of products was studied using a synthetic sugar mixture. Temperature was the most influential parameter, enhancing sugar conversion and yields of furans. Increased reaction time generally improved sugar conversion, but reduced product yields. Increased sugar:catalyst mass ratio generally had less influence on product yields. The optimised furan yields from synthetic sugar mixture, especially furfural, were obtained at 160 oC, for 2 h. Compared to other catalysts, HPW-Sn/Al2O3 contributed to good C5 and C6 sugar conversions (56% and 75%) and the highest yields of total furans (27%). The HPW-Sn/Al2O3 catalyst was used under optimised reaction conditions to convert an industrial hemicellulose stream with a total furan yield of 33.6%.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zhu Z, Boodhoo K, Russo Abegão F

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 31st European Biomass Conference & Exhibit (EUBCE)

Year of Conference: 2023

Pages: 1110-1112

Print publication date: 08/06/2023

Acceptance date: 25/01/2023

Date deposited: 14/06/2023

ISSN: 2282-5819

Publisher: ETA-Florence Renewable Energies


DOI: 10.5071/31stEUBCE2023-6CV.7.9

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/hhsg-qv49

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings

ISBN: 9788889407233