Catalysis Letters

, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 252–260 | Cite as

Production of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural from Mono- and Disaccharides in the Presence of Ionic Liquids

  • Jincai Shi
  • Wentao Liu
  • Ningning Wang
  • Yan Yang
  • Haijun Wang


The one-pot dehydration/hydrolysis of mono- and disaccharides to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) in the presence of several imidazolium ionic liquids was efficiently performed. The study aims to make a mechanistic insights on the direct transformation of sugars to HMF, including glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose, maltose and lactose. With the catalyst of [NMP][HSO4], a HMF yield of 87 % was achieved from sucrose. In addition, [AMIM]Cl revealed a remarkable catalytic activity for the transformation of fructose to HMF without other catalyst or co-solvent and the yield of HMF was 91.1 %. Theoretical calculation results showed that [AMIM]Cl expressed a more efficient catalytic activity than [BMIM]Cl.

Graphical Abstract

Fructose could directly convert into HMF in [AMIM]Cl without catalyst. Behaviors of disaccharides are largely determined by their basic units. The mechanism to explain the activity of [AMIM]Cl has been confirmed by using DFT method.


Carbohydrates Degradation 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural Ionic liquids Mechanism 

Supplementary material

10562_2013_1148_MOESM1_ESM.docx (896 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 896 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jincai Shi
    • 1
  • Wentao Liu
    • 1
  • Ningning Wang
    • 1
  • Yan Yang
    • 1
  • Haijun Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemical and Material EngineeringJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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