5-Hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) is a platform chemical, which can be derived from lignocellulosic biomass, and used for production of liquid fuels and polymers. We demonstrate a process for production of HMF using sequential enzymatic and catalytic reactions of glucose to synthesize HMF, and simulated-moving-bed (SMB) separation to purify HMF. The adsorption thermodynamic parameters of glucose, fructose, and HMF on a commercial chromatography resin are experimentally determined for modeling the SMB-based HMF production process. The experimental data are used to develop a rigorous process model and then estimate the cost of production. Chromatographic separation of HMF has 16% lower operating costs compared to an extraction-based process and has a minimum selling price of approximately $1478 per ton. We demonstrate that the HMF process can be integrated with the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) process, and we performed analyses considering two systems including construction of a new integrated facility and retrofitting an existing HFCS facility to produce HMF. Our analyses suggest that the latter approach is a promising short-term low-risk strategy to advance the HMF production technology to commercial scale.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry