Much effort has been devoted to the conversion of biomass into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a versatile and key intermediate in the biofuel and petrochemical industries. The large-scale application is still limited due to some critical challenges, such as costs, supply, and the environmental impact of industrial activity.
Linke Lai and Yugen Zhang, The Nanos, Singapore, report an isopropyl alcohol-mediated reaction system for the production of HMF from fructose. Using isopropyl alcohol as solvent and HCl as catalyst, an HMF yield of up to 87 % is achieved. The solvent and catalyst can be easily recycled by evaporation, giving the HMF product.
The system avoids the use of large amounts of organic solvent, has a minimal environmental impact, and offers a new route to large-scale economically viable processes.
- The Production of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural from Fructose in Isopropyl Alcohol: A Green and Efficient System,
L. Lai, Y. Zhang,