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Zeolite Beta - The Conversion of cellulose to HMF

Walker Costa, T. (2013) Zeolite Beta - The Conversion of cellulose to HMF. Master's Thesis / Essay, Chemistry.

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The chemical industry is looking for environmentally renewable sources of raw materials in an attempt to reduce the global dependency on fossil fuels. Biomass, composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, shows great potential of offering the solution, by supplying key building blocks for both chemicals and fuels. Exploiting sustainable sources of biomass is, however, insufficient. It is also of great importance to design environmentally responsible processes, by limiting the use of hazardous compounds in the industry. Zeolite (beta), a solid acid, is a non-toxic, regenerable, and easily recoverable material which is capable of replacing conventional harmful mineral acids in many industrial applications. This thesis explores the potential of employing zeolite and modifications hereof for the acid catalysed dehydration reaction of fructose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural(HMF) and the hydrolysis of cellulose to its glucose units. Zeolite proved to effectively promote the reaction of fructose to HMF in 2-butanol, while it had no visible effect in the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), contrary to several sources in the literature. DMSO is capable of promoting the reaction in the absence of catalysts. By making use of cellulose pre-treatments such as ball-milling and performing the reaction in high concentrations of formic acid, a weak acid, high yields of glucose were obtained. Incorporating zeolite _ lead to lower yields of glucose but significantly increased the yields of levulinic acid, a valuable chemical intermediate.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Chemistry
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:55
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:55

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