Furfural production from lignocellulosic biomass by ultrasound-assisted acid hydrolysis.


Departamento de Química, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Furanic platforms (e.g. furfural, furfuryl alcohol and hydroxymethylfurfural) can be obtained from biomass, being considered as a green alternative to petrochemical products such as fuels, and solvents. In this work, the use of ultrasound energy was investigated for the conversion of several lignocellulosic materials into furfural. The following parameters were evaluated: reaction time (30 to 120 min), ultrasound amplitude (20 to 70%) and feedstock amount (100 to 500 mg). The ultrasound-assisted acid hydrolysis (UAAH) process was applied to several lignocellulosic materials (sugar cane straw, rice husk, yerba-mate waste, grass and wood waste) aiming an investigation about the effects when working with real and complex feedstock. Better furfural yields (72.4 ± 4.3 mg g-1) were obtained from 0.1 g of grass, employing an ultrasound cup horn system operating at 20 kHz, 20 mL of 4 mol L-1 HNO3, at 30 °C, 50% amplitude, and 60 min of sonication. Under the same reaction conditions, the results were compared with those obtained at silent condition (mechanical stirring, 100 to 500 rpm), which demonstrate the ultrasound effects for furfural synthesis. Therefore, the proposed UAAH process can be considered as a suitable alternative for biomass conversion to furfural, because it does not need previous step of lignin removal and might be performed in a single step.


Building blocks,Fine chemicals,Furfural production,Lignocellulosic materials,Process intensification,Ultrasound-assisted acid hydrolysis,