Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 333–339 | Cite as

Characterization and use of southern cattail for biorefining-based production of furfural

  • M. T. García
  • M. A. M. Zamudio
  • J. M. Loaiza
  • A. B. Morales
  • A. Alfaro
  • F. Lopez
  • Juan Carlos GarcíaEmail author
Original Article


In this work, we assessed the potential of southern cattail (Typha domingensis) as a lignocellulosic material for producing furfural in some regions. Also, we modeled and optimized the process involving autohydrolysis of the raw material, and its subsequent separation by liquid–liquid extraction and simple distillation. The process is based on biorefining principles and aimed at preserving the integrity of other polymer fractions of the raw material for subsequent use. The autohydrolysis liquor and furfural were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Also, a central composite factor design was used to model and optimize the autohydrolysis/liquid–liquid extraction process for conversion of hemicellulosic materials into furfural. Based on the results, southern cattail is a suitable material for extracting hemicellulose to be converted into furfural while preserving other fractions of use for other purposes. The optimum operating ranges for the autohydrolysis conditions were found to be 177–189 °C and 30–45 min. Under such conditions, 20–25% of all xylan in the raw material was converted into furfural with little simultaneous production of degradation products. Furfural in the autohydrolysis liquor was separated virtually quantitatively by extraction with chloroform and subsequent simple distillation.


Autohydrolysis Biorefinery Furfural Southern cattail Hemicelulloses 


Funding information

This work received funding from the Andalusian Regional Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science, and Employment (Project number RNM 2323 and FPI grant), the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, National Program for Research Aimed at the Challenges of Society and co-financed with European Regional Development Fund (FEDER funds), CTQ2013-46804-C2-1-R and CTQ2017-85251-C2-1-R), and the National Technological Institute of Mexico/Technological Institute of Cd. Madero (6058.17-P).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PRO2TEC – Chemical Engineering Department, Campus “El Carmen”University of HuelvaHuelvaSpain
  2. 2.Master Studies and Research SectionTechnological Institute of Ciudad MaderoCiudad MaderoMexico

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