For the synthesis of important platform chemicals such as sugars (xylose and arabinose) and furans (furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)) from carbohydrates (hemicellulose and fructose) solid acid catalysts are employed. Similarly, over solid acid catalysts, conversion of lignin into aromatic monomers is performed. It is observed that in the dehydration of fructose, because of higher hydrothermal stability, silicoaluminophosphate (SAPO) catalysts give better activity (78% HMF yield) compared with other solid acid catalysts (<63% HMF yield) at 175°C. Particularly, SAPO-44 catalyst can be reused at least 5 times with marginal decrease in the activity. Zeolite, HUSY (Si/Al = 15) is active in the conversion of isolated (pure) hemicellulose to produce 41% C5 sugars in water. The catalyst is also active in the selective conversion of hemicellulose from bagasse to yield 59% C5 sugars. It is possible to obtain high yields of furfural (54%) directly from bagasse if instead of water, water+toluene solvent system is used. Depolymerization of lignin using HUSY catalyst produced aromatic monomers with 60% yield at 250°C. A detailed catalyst characterization study is performed to understand the correlation between catalyst activity and morphology. To understand the effect of impurities present in the substrate over solid acid catalysts, metal-exchange study is carried out.
Volume 132, 2020
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