Many countries have set goals to replace conventional energy sources with renewable energy sources. This has led to investigations into the use of lignocellulosic biomass as a feedstock for renewable fuels and base chemicals. Unfortunately hydrolysation of this biomass introduces impurities that are toxic to the fermentation bacteria. This study aims to find the key adsorber properties for the separation of toxic 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) from glucose.
Batch adsorption experiments on styrene based (anion exchange) adsorbers showed that a high surface area is a key property for effective HMF adsorption. Introduction of polar groups in the form of anion exchange groups appears to increase the HMF-affinity of the resin material, unfortunately these groups also introduce affinity for glucose. Competitive adsorption studies of HMF and glucose showed that glucose does not affect HMF adsorption in any of the resins.
Furan derivatives can be removed from water and sugar solutions with styrene based (anion exchange) polymeric resins. For efficient removal, a high surface area of the resin is a key property. Dowex Optipore L-493 shows the best specific HMF adsorption and no specificity for glucose, which makes it an excellent adsorber for HMF removal from hydrolysate for the fermentation of glucose. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry