Production of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural from Glucose Using a Combination of Lewis and Brønsted Acid Catalysts in Water in a Biphasic Reactor with an Alkylphenol Solvent

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Pagan-Torres, Yomaira
Wang, Tianfu
Gallo, Jean
Dumesic, James
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Shanks, Brent
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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We report the catalytic conversion of glucose in high yields (62%) to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a versatile platform chemical. The reaction system consists of a Lewis acid metal chloride (e.g., AlCl 3) and a Bronsted acid (HCl) in a biphasic reactor consisting of water and an alkylphenol compound (2-sec-butylphenol) as the organic phase. The conversion of glucose in the presence of Lewis and Bronsted acidity proceeds through a tandem pathway involving isomerization of glucose to fructose, followed by dehydration of fructose to HMF. The organic phase extracts 97% of the HMF produced, while both acid catalysts remain in the aqueous phase.


Reprinted (adapted) with permission from ACS Catalysis 2 (2012): 930, doi: 10.1021/cs300192z. Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2012