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Kinetic study on the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of cellulose to levulinic acid

Girisuta, B., Janssen, L. P. B. M. & Heeres, H. J., 14-Mar-2007, In : Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 46, 6, p. 1696-1708 13 p.

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A variety of interesting bulk chemicals is accessible by the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of cellulose. An interesting example is levulinic acid, a versatile precursor for fuel additives, polymers, and resins. A detailed kinetic study on the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of cellulose to levulinic acid is reported in this paper. The kinetic experiments were performed in a temperature window of 150-200 degrees C, sulfuric acid concentrations between 0.05 and 1 M, and initial cellulose intakes between 1.7 and 14 wt %. The highest yield of levulinic was 60 mol %, obtained at a temperature of 150 degrees C, an initial cellulose intake of 1.7 wt %, and a sulfuric acid concentration of 1 M. A full kinetic model covering a broad range of reaction conditions was developed using the power-law approach. Agreement between the experimental data and the kinetic model is good. The kinetic expressions were used to gain insights into the optimum process conditions for the conversion of cellulose to levulinic acid in continuous-reactor configurations. The model predicts that the highest obtainable levulinic acid yield in continuous-reactor configurations is about 76 mol %, which was obtained when using reactors with a large extent of backmixing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1696-1708
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume46
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14-Mar-2007

    Keywords

  • MUNICIPAL SOLID-WASTES, SULFURIC-ACID, MICROCRYSTALLINE-CELLULOSE, HETEROGENEOUS CHARACTER, CRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, WATER, REACTOR, REFUSE

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