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Use of niobium-based catalysts for dehydration of xylose to furfural in liquid phase: effects of reaction conditions on catalyst performance

Grant number: 18/20532-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Raphael Soeiro Suppino
Grantee:Julia Letícia Montanari Lima
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The conversion of xylose from lignocellulosic biomass is one of the processes that encourages the development of biorefineries, in which, through dehydration of xylose, furfural can be obtained, a molecule that has great potential to be the basis for new routes towards chemicals such as solvents, lubricants, fuels, among others. Recent studies recommend the use of acid catalysts for this reaction. In this sense, the present study aims to evaluate the performance of niobium based catalyst for the dehydration reaction of xylose in liquid phase to obtain furfural. The niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5) will be supported on aluminum oxide (³-Al2O3) by wet impregnation and then subjected to calcination at 400 ° C. The catalytic tests will be conducted in a Parr reactor under an inert atmosphere. The reaction will be conducted at temperatures of 120, 160 and 200 ° C using water and isopropanol as solvents in different proportions. The catalysts will be subjected to characterization tests for a better understanding of their physicochemical properties by adsorption of N2 (BET Method), X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF), programmed temperature ammonia desorption (TPD), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). In the catalytic tests, it is expected to evaluate the influence of reaction temperature and the nature of the reaction medium on xylose conversion and furfural yield, contributing to the development of processes for the use of lignocellulosic biomass as a source of platform molecules in biorefineries.