Furfural production from xylose and birch hydrolysate liquor in a biphasic system and techno-economic analysis
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Furfural has been highlighted as one of the top ten most rewarding bio-based building blocks by the US Department of Energy. In this study, furfural was produced from xylose and birch hydrolysate liquor employing a batch reactor in a biphasic system. The formation of furfural was conducted under auto-catalyzed conditions. 2-sec-Butylphenol was used as extractant to promptly extract furfural from the aqueous phase in order to minimize furfural degradation reactions. The effect of time, temperature, and organic-to-aqueous phase ratio were investigated. The maximum furfural yields from xylose and birch hydrolysate liquor as feedstock under auto-catalyzed conditions when employing 2-sec-butylphenol (SBP) were 59 mol% and 54 mol%, respectively. In the monophasic system when using hydrolysate, 46% furfural was yielded. Based on a techno-economic analysis carried out for furfural, the total investment cost for a plant integrated with an existing pulp mill or bio-refinery is estimated as 14 M€. The minimum selling price of furfural found to be 1.62 € kg-1. With a furfural selling price of 1.93 € kg-1, the payback period is approximately 5 years and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 20.7% is achieved at the end of the project lifetime.
CitationGómez, G. [et al.]. Furfural production from xylose and birch hydrolysate liquor in a biphasic system and techno-economic analysis. "Biomass conversion and biorefinery", 1 Abril 2020, p. 1-12.