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Conversion of organosolv pretreated hardwood biomass into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) by combining enzymatic hydrolysis and isomerization with homogeneous catalysis
Industrial Biotechnology & Biocatalysis Group, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Zografou Campus, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Str, 15780, Athens, Greece.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Chemical Engineering. Industrial Biotechnology & Biocatalysis Group, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Zografou Campus, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Str, 15780, Athens, Greece.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9164-7667
Center for Research and Technology Hellas, Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute, 57001, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Center for Research and Technology Hellas, Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute, 57001, Thessaloniki, Greece.
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2021 (English)In: Biotechnology for Biofuels, ISSN 1754-6834, E-ISSN 1754-6834, Vol. 14, article id 172Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Over the last few years, valorization of lignocellulosic biomass has been expanded beyond the production of second-generation biofuels to the synthesis of numerous platform chemicals to be used instead of their fossil-based counterparts. One such well-researched example is 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), which is preferably produced by the dehydration of fructose. Fructose is obtained by the isomerization of glucose, which in turn is derived by the hydrolysis of cellulose. However, to avoid harsh reaction conditions with high environmental impact, an isomerization step towards fructose is necessary, as fructose can be directly dehydrated to HMF under mild conditions. This work presents an optimized process to produce fructose from beechwood biomass hydrolysate and subsequently convert it to HMF by employing homogeneous catalysis.

Results: The optimal saccharification conditions were identified at 10% wt. solids loading and 15 mg enzyme/gsolids, as determined from preliminary trials on pure cellulose (Avicel® PH-101). Furthermore, since high rate glucose isomerization to fructose requires the addition of sodium tetraborate, the optimum borate to glucose molar ratio was determined to 0.28 and was used in all experiments. Among 20 beechwood solid pulps obtained from different organosolv pretreatment conditions tested, the highest fructose production was obtained with acetone (160 °C, 120 min), reaching 56.8 g/100 g pretreated biomass. A scale-up hydrolysis in high solids (25% wt.) was then conducted. The hydrolysate was subjected to isomerization eventually leading to a high-fructose solution (104.5 g/L). Dehydration of fructose to HMF was tested with 5 different catalysts (HCl, H3PO4, formic acid, maleic acid and H-mordenite). Formic acid was found to be the best one displaying 79.9% sugars conversion with an HMF yield and selectivity of 44.6% and 55.8%, respectively.

Conclusions: Overall, this work shows the feasibility of coupling bio- and chemo-catalytic processes to produce HMF from lignocellulose in an environmentally friendly manner. Further work for the deployment of biocatalysts for the oxidation of HMF to its derivatives could pave the way for the emergence of an integrated process to effectively produce biobased monomers from lignocellulose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2021. Vol. 14, article id 172
Keywords [en]
5-hydroxymethylfurfural, Lignocellulosic biomass, Isomerization, Homogeneous catalysis
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Research subject
Biochemical Process Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-86936DOI: 10.1186/s13068-021-02022-9ISI: 000690935700002PubMedID: 34454576Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85113600786OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-86936DiVA, id: diva2:1589537
Note

Validerad;2021;Nivå 2;2021-09-01 (alebob);

Forskningsfinansiär: Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation; General Secretariat for Research and Technology (1085)

Available from: 2021-08-31 Created: 2021-08-31 Last updated: 2021-09-06Bibliographically approved

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Karnaouri, Anthi C.Topakas, Evangelos

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