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Hydrolysis of cellulose in supercritical water: reagent concentration as a selectivity factor
- Martínez, Celia M., Cantero, Danilo A., Bermejo, M. D., Cocero, M. J.
- Cellulose 2015 v.22 no.4 pp. 2231-2243
- cellulose, hydrolysis, sugars, vapors, water content
- In this work, the influence of reagent concentration on hydrolysis reactions of cellulose in supercritical water was analyzed. The hydrolysis was carried out at 400 °C and 25 MPa with reaction times between 0.07 and 1.57 s and feeding cellulose concentrations between 5 and 20 % w/w (1.5–6 % w/w at reactor inlet). Also, a flash separator was used to separate vapor in the product stream in order to increase the final concentration. The best result for sugar production (79 % w/w) was obtained working with a cellulose concentration of 5 % w/w and 0.07-s reaction time. For glycolaldehyde production, the best result (42 % w/w) was obtained with a concentration of 20 % w/w and 1.57 s. The employment of a flash separator allowed reducing the water content by 50 %. It was also observed that by increasing the cellulose concentration in the reactor up to 4 % w/w, the hydrolysis took place with a similar kinetic as that in the heterogeneous media, thus reducing the conversion rate of cellulose in supercritical water.