Aim: to clarify the reaction mechanism leading to furfural and to define new green catalytic pathways for its production.
A fellow researcher (Gianluca Marcotullio, PhD promovendus, Delft University of Technology) who shares our passion for furfural, advised us today about the publication of his latest (co-authored) R&D. Will we soon see Super Yields in ordinary furfural plants? We believe so (know so!). Here goes the abstract of the 8 September 2010 Green Chemistry article:
Furfural production through traditional processes is accompanied by acidic waste stream production and high energy consumption. Modern furfural production process concepts will have to consider environmental concerns and energy requirements besides economics, moreover will have to be integrated within widened biorefinery concepts. In this paper, some particular aspects of the chemistry of D-xylose reaction to furfural are addressed, with the aim to clarify the reaction mechanism leading to furfural and to define new green catalytic pathways for its production. Specifically, reducing the use of mineral acids is addressed by the introduction of alternative catalysts. In this sense, chloride salts were tested in dilute acidic solutions at temperatures between 170 and 200