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Efficient utilization of potash alum as a green catalyst for production of furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and levulinic acid from mono-sugars

Gupta, Dinesh, Ahmad, Ejaz, Pant, Kamal K., Saha, Basudeb
RSC advances 2017 v.7 no.67 pp. 41973-41979
alum, catalysts, cost effectiveness, feedstocks, fructose, furfural, glucose, hydroxymethylfurfural, levulinic acid, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, xylose
In present work, we have explored potash alum (PA) as an efficient and green catalyst for production of high value platform chemicals such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) furfural from bio-renewable feedstocks in a biphasic reaction medium. Maximum 64% and 49% HMF yields were obtained from the dehydration reactions of fructose and glucose, respectively, at 140 °C over a 6 h reaction time. Similarly, 55% furfural yield was obtained from xylose at 190 °C in 6 h period. Products obtained have been analyzed by ¹H-NMR spectra and a detailed mechanistic understanding of the dehydration reactions has been developed. This is first report highlighting a strategy for the utilization of cost effective and non-hazardous potash alum as catalyst for the conversion of glucose, fructose, and xylose to respective furans.