The ever increasing global demand on fossil resources that are limited in reserves has directed numerous research efforts recently towards the development of more sustainable feedstocks as the source for the production of fuels, chemicals and (performance) materials. Conversion of biomass (particularly lignocellulose as the most abundant biomass resource) and its derivatives to value-added chemicals is currently one of the focuses of many research and development activities along this research line. Microreactor technology as an important means of process intensification holds great promises for such bio-based chemical manufacturing, especially when it comes to the manipulation of multiphase (catalytic) processes. This work will introduce the recent research in our group on the use of slug flow microreactors towards the efficient synthesis and oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) which is one of the most promising bio-based platform chemicals. The first part of the work deals with HMF synthesis from fructose/glucose mixtures in a biphasic system (aqueous phase for sugar dehydration to HMF with sulphuric acid as the catalyst; organic phase for in-situ extraction of HMF into solvents like MIBK to prevent its degradation). The reaction was operated in capillary microreactors under liquid-liquid slug flow conditions, where comparable HMF yields to the study in an ideal (well-mixed) batch reactor could be obtained thanks to the significantly enhanced reactant mixing/product extraction in microreactors. The second part of the work deals with the homogeneous oxidation of HMF to produce value-added chemicals such as 2,5-diformylfuran and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid using a homogeneous Co/Mn/Br catalyst with air as the oxidant. The reaction was operated in capillary microreactors under gas-liquid slug flow conditions. HMF conversion and product yield could be improved considerably in microreactors due to the enhanced oxygen transport as compared to those obtained in (semi-)batch reactors under similar conditions. In both case studies, slug flow microreactor models were developed to further explain the observed relationship between slug flow transport and reaction performance, where the catalytic mechanism and intensification potential of microreactors were discussed.
|Status||Published - 11-sep-2016|
|Evenement||The 14th International Conference on MicroREaction Technology (IMRET) - Beijing Friendship Hotel, Beijing, China|
Duur: 11-sep-2016 → 14-sep-2016
|Conference||The 14th International Conference on MicroREaction Technology (IMRET)|
|Periode||11/09/2016 → 14/09/2016|