Investigation of the adsorption of carbohydrates and furans in microporous catalysts

Shah, Andrew
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University of Delaware
The feasibility of a fixed bed separation of HMF and fructose using pelletized zeolites was investigated for applications related to HMF production via fructose dehydration. HMF and fructose isotherms were measured at 25°C using the batch method for three different zeolites (13X, H-BEA25, and Na-BEA25). 13X showed a strong affinity for both fructose and HMF. H-BEA25 demonstrated high loading capacities for HMF and low loading capacities for fructose, while Na-BEA25 showed similar loading capacities as the H-BEA25. Single component breakthrough curves showed that Na-BEA25 zeolite was the clear-cut best choice for a separations process. This zeolite showed a high loading capacity and selectivity for HMF in both batch and breakthrough studies. While separation in a multicomponent breakthrough process was not as ideal as expected via inspection of single component breakthrough curves, separation was still observed. It is hypothesized that if the length of the packed bed were increased, then the difference in breakthrough times would be much more pronounced. As a result, the Na-BEA25 zeolite was found to be a good choice for separating fructose and HMF.