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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Economic potential of 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF) and ethyl levulinate (EL) produced from hemicelluloses-derived furfural

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Leal Silva, Jean Felipe [1] ; Mariano, Adriano Pinto [1] ; Maciel Filho, Rubens [1]
Total Authors: 3
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, Sch Chem Engn, Av Albert Einstein 500, Campinas, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 1
Document type: Journal article
Source: BIOMASS & BIOENERGY; v. 119, p. 492-502, DEC 2018.
Web of Science Citations: 3

Sugars derived from biomass hemicelluloses, especially pentoses, have low value because they are generally not suitable for industrial fermentation processes. In contrast, dehydration of xylose, one of the main constituents of hemicelluloses, yields furfural. The dehydration process is relatively simple, and furfural has several applications mainly in the polymer and lubricant industries. Moreover, chemical upgrade of furfural can yield 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF) and ethyl levulinate (EL), two chemicals that can be used as fuel additives in gasoline and diesel, respectively. In this work, three chemical upgrading routes for furfural were proposed and simulated based on process data available in the literature. The economic analysis showed the feasibility of producing MTHF in a two-step hydrogenation process, in four geographic regions (Brazil, China, European Union, and the United States). The maximum furfural price to allow profits at a minimum acceptable rate of return of 10% is \$457 Mg--(1). On the other hand, the conversion of furfural to ethyl levulinate is not economically attractive mainly because of its lower energy density, which resulted in a low selling price. This study also discussed the need for new catalysts to avoid high hydrogen to furfural ratios while enabling hydrogenation at high pressures. These operating conditions were found to be major technoeconomic hurdles for the chemical upgrade of biomass-derived furfural to MTHF and EL. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 16/10450-1 - Process development for sugarcane conversion to ethyl levulinate: a route for a viable biodiesel additive
Grantee:Jean Felipe Leal Silva
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master
FAPESP's process: 15/20630-4 - Biorefinery development integrated to a bioethanol sugar cane plant with zero CO2 emission: routes to convert renewable resources to bio-products and bio-electricity
Grantee:Rubens Maciel Filho
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants