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Microporous Humins Synthesized in Concentrated Sulfuric Acid Using 5‑Hydroxymethyl Furfural

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2018, 00:00 by Fredrik Björnerbäck, Diana Bernin, Niklas Hedin
A new class of highly porous organic sorbents called microporous humins is presented. These microporous humins are derived from sustainable and industrially abundant resources, have high heat of CO2 sorption, and could potentially be useful for the separation of carbon dioxide from gas mixtures. Their synthesis involves the polymerization of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) in concentrated sulfuric acid and treatment with diethyl ether and heat. In particular, the porosities were tuned by the heat treatment. HMF is a potential platform chemical from biorefineries and a common intermediate in carbohydrate chemistry. A high uptake of CO2 (up to 5.27 mmol/g at 0 °C and 1 bar) and high CO2-over-N2 and CO2-over-CH4 selectivities were observed. The microporous humins were aromatic and structurally amorphous, which was shown in a multipronged approach using 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies, elemental analysis, and wide-angle X-ray scattering.