BioEnergy Research

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 380–386 | Cite as

Effect of Formic Acid on Conversion of Fructose to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural in Aqueous/Butanol Media

  • Nan Jiang
  • Renliang Huang
  • Wei Qi
  • Rongxin Su
  • Zhimin He


Acid-catalyzed dehydration of carbohydrates into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a valuable biomass-derived intermediate, has received increasing attention. Efficient methods for HMF production are needed for successful commercialization of HMF in the near future. A new process for the dehydration of sugars into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural in aqueous/butanol media enhanced by using formic acid was developed. The effects of formic acid concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time on the fructose conversion and HMF yield showed the significant influences of these process variables. The optimum conditions were found to be 2.5 mol/L formic acid concentration, 170°C and 70 min. Under such conditions, a fructose conversion of 98.3% with a HMF yield of 69.2% was achieved. The application of the butanol solvent and formic acid led to the conversion of fructose to HMF with high yield. The catalytic system in this study has prospects for commercial application due to its less corrosion and convenient downstream separation.


5-Hydroxymethylfurfural Fructose Sugars Formic acid Dehydration 





High-performance liquid chromatography


Ionic liquids



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (20976125, 31071509) and Tianjin (10JCYBJC05100), the National Key Technology R&D program (2007BAD42B02), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in Chinese University (NCET-08-0386), the Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities of China (B06006), and the Key Project of Chinese Ministry of Education (108031).

Supplementary material

12155_2011_9141_MOESM1_ESM.doc (84 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 84 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nan Jiang
    • 1
  • Renliang Huang
    • 1
  • Wei Qi
    • 1
  • Rongxin Su
    • 1
  • Zhimin He
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyTianjin UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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