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Title Acid-Catalysed Hydrolysis of Coconut Shells: Optimization of Furfural Production
Posted by Rodel Guerrero
Authors Guerrero, Rodel D.; Julve, Kimberly; Bala, Cherry Mae; Galindo, Mary Jane; Fernandez, Juliet; Tumolva, Terence P.
Publication date 2014/12
Conference 7th Regional Conference on Chemical Engineering
Abstract Furfural is produced commercially by the acid hydrolysis of pentosan polysaccharides from nonfood residues of food crops and wood wastes. It is an essential chemical substance utilized in the derivation of other valuable chemicals such as furfuryl alcohol which is the basic component for the production of a furan resin thermoset. The main source of pentosans is lignocellulose that can be found in biomass. Pentosans from coconut shell, which is an available agricultural waste in the country, was used in this study. Given that the Philippines is an agricultural country and a major producer of coconuts, the country has a sustainable source of agricultural raw material and could potentially become a producer of furfural. The laboratory synthesis of furfural was done by acid catalyzed hydrolysis. The acid hydrolyses were carried out at 180°C using dilute (0.2 M) sulfuric acid for different hydrolysis times. Results show that furfural yield increases as digestion time increases, but only up to a certain hydrolysis time for which the maximum average percent mass furfural yield can be obtained. After which, a decrease in mass yield will be noticed. The effects of digestion time, operating temperature and acid catalyst concentration with respect to the mass furfural yield from coconut shell were examined using ANOVA and Box-Behnken. Correspondingly, a sample furan resin, furfural-acetone resin, was made utilizing the furfural produced in the laboratory experiment.
Index terms / Keywords Furfural; Pentosan; Acid Hydrolysis; Coconut Shells; Optimization