Kinetics of Hydrothermal Furfural Production from Organosolv Hemicellulose and d‑Xylose

Organosolv pulping processes are able to generate liquid hemicellulose fractions with a low cellulose and lignin content. Utilization of such streams is promising for production of high-value chemicals. In this study, on the basis of three reaction models, kinetics of an aqueous organosolv hemicellulose and d-xylose conversion into furfural was examined at temperatures between 160 and 200 °C using a continuous tube reactor. Furthermore, furfural degradation was investigated to consider the self-polymerization. Results were compared with previous studies and differences are discussed. Kinetic models showed slight differences for d-xylose conversion and stronger deviations for furfural formation. Overall, model 3, which includes the formation of a xylose intermediate, showed the best performance concerning the experimental results. Differences between d-xylose and organosolv hemicellulose conversion can be attributed mainly to sugar oligomers.