Single reactor conversion of corn stover biomass to C5-C20 furanic biocrude oil using sulfonic acid functionalized Brönsted acidic ionic liquid catalysts

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Cellulose (DP~450) and dry corn stover powder were converted to furanic biocrude oils in a single reactor operation by heating with excess acetone in the presence of Brönsted acidic ionic liquid catalysts. Two Brönsted acidic ionic liquid catalysts, 1-(1-propylsulfonic)-3-methylimidazolium chloride (BAIL-1) and 1-(4-sulfonic-benzyl)-3-methylimidazolium chloride (BAIL-2), were compared for biocrude oil synthesis from cellulose and dry corn stover. Catalyst BAIL-1 showed slightly better activity in all experiments, where cellulose samples produced 52.9 mg biocrude oil/100 mg of cellulose, and corn stover produced 34.2 mg biocrude oil/100 mg of corn stover by heating at 120 °C for 3 h. Biocrude oil formed in the novel process is mainly a complex mixture of aldol condensation products of acetone with biomass-derived furans, furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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