Optimization of Furfural Synthesis from Xylose Using Niobic Acid and Niobium Phosphate as Catalysts

  • Rafael S. de Carvalho
  • Fábio de A. Rodrigues
  • Robson S. Monteiro
  • Wagner L. da Silva Faria
Original Paper


The objective of this work was to observe the significant factors for the dehydration reaction of xylose to furfural and to optimize the processes using experimental design. The studied variables were temperature, time, initial percentage of xylose mass, and catalyst/xylose ratio. Temperature and initial percentage of xylose mass were considered statistically significant, while the maximum point for furfural selectivity was at 160 °C and 2% of initial xylose mass. Using niobic acid and niobium phosphate (1:1) (NbP/NbA), 44.05% xylose conversion and 74.71% furfural selectivity were obtained. The results showed that the mixture of catalysts with Brönsted acid and Lewis acid sites improved the selectivity of furfural from the xylose dehydration reaction. NbP/NbA catalysts were very stable under the investigated condition after 5 continuous recycles.


Furfural Niobium phosphate Niobic acid Xylose dehydration 



The authors thank Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração – Brazil (CBMM) for donating the niobium and CAPES for financial support of the graduate scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael S. de Carvalho
    • 1
  • Fábio de A. Rodrigues
    • 1
  • Robson S. Monteiro
    • 2
  • Wagner L. da Silva Faria
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryFederal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Catalysis Consultoria Ltda.Rio de JaneiroBrazil

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