Article

Advances in conversion of hemicellulosic biomass to furfural and upgrading to biofuels

Catalysis Science & Technology (Impact Factor: 4.76). 01/2012; DOI: 10.1039/c2cy20235b

ABSTRACT Recent approaches to furfural synthesis from hemicellulosic biomass and pentose sugars with both homogeneous and solid acidic catalysts have been summarized by addressing the associated sustainability issues. The features of deconstruction of hemicellulosic biomass by acid hydrolysis to produce pentose sugar feedstock for furfural have been discussed in brief. Several strategies including solvent extraction in a biphasic process, application of surface functionalized materials such as acidic resins, mesoporous solids and mechanistic insight in limited cases are discussed. The present status of the promising furfural platform in producing second generation biofuels (furanics and hydrocarbon) is reviewed. The performances of each catalytic system are assessed in terms of intrinsic reactivity and selectivity toward furfural production. Overall, this minireview attempts to highlight the scope of further developments for a sustainable furfural process and upgrading to fuels.

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