Maintenance of a Highly Active Solid Acid Catalyst in Sugar Beet Molasses for Levulinic Acid Production
- 260 Downloads
A strongly acidic cation exchange resin (Amberlyst-36™) was used as a heterogeneous acid catalyst in a sugar beet molasses solution for levulinic acid production. The solid acid catalyst was quickly deactivated during the reaction, in a large portion due to the non-sugar components (cations, proteins and alkaline compounds) in sugar beet molasses. In order to keep the catalyst active for reuse, the sugar beet molasses solution was pretreated in a column packed with the resin pellets for selective removal of the impurities that might cause the deactivation. The ion-exchange solution not only gave a high levulinic acid yield, but also maintained the heterogeneous catalyst active for repeated reuse under the reaction conditions. The saturated resin pellets discharged from the ion-exchange pretreatment could be conveniently regenerated under ambient conditions. In contrast, the catalyst deactivated in the reaction had to be regenerated in harsh conditions involving re-sulfonation, in which the catalyst had a gradual permanent activity loss in repeated regenerations. The ion-exchange pretreatment of sugar beet molasses solution can therefore maintain a high catalytic activity of Amberlyst-36™ and reduce the cost of the solid catalyst in levulinic acid production.
KeywordsSugar molasses Levulinic acid Solid acid catalyst Activity regeneration Amberlyst-36™
The work was supported by Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at UHM, USA. Part of the work of Shimin Kang was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21606045).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Hatakeyama, T., and H. Hatakeyama. 2005. Thermal properties of green polymers and biocomposites. Geological Magazine 150: 1–22.Google Scholar
- James, S. 2015. Levulinic Acid Market Size to Reach $19.65 Million by 2020. Grand View Research, Inc. http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/levulinic-acid-market-size-to-reach-1965-million-by-2020-grand-view-research-inc-2078508.htm.
- Taylor. 2017. 2017 Outlook of the U.S. and World Sugar Markets, 2016–2026. North Dakota State University, Fargo.Google Scholar