, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 587-594
Date: 05 Jan 2010

Hydrolysis of cellulose by the heteropoly acid H3PW12O40

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Abstract

The potential of heteropoly acid H3PW12O40 to catalyze the hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose under hydrothermal conditions was explored. This technology could contribute to sustainable societies in the future by using cellulose biomass. A study to optimize the reaction conditions, such as the amount of catalyst, reaction time, temperature, and the amount of cellulose used, was performed. A remarkably high yield of glucose (50.5%) and selectivity higher than 90% at 453 K for 2 h with a mass ratio of cellulose to H3PW12O40 of 0.42 were achieved. This was attributed to the high hydrothermal stability and the excellent catalytic properties, such as the strong Brønsted acid sites. This homogeneous catalyst can be recycled for reuse by extraction with diethyl ether. The results illustrate that H3PW12O40 is an environmentally benign acid catalyst for the hydrolysis of cellulose.