Furfural production from empty fruit bunch - A biorefinery approach
Biofuels production from agriculture residues is gaining much attention in Brazil due to agriculture residue availability, environmental benign properties of the fuel and, the capacity to improve rural development. However, for consideration of rational use of biomass resource, a biorefinery approach capable of multiproduct output is desirable. In this context, this study deals with the process optimization of furfural production from oil palm empty fruit bunch using dilute sulfuric acid pretreatment followed by dehydration without any additional catalyst. The reaction conditions were optimized using experimental design. Furfural yield up to 57.6 g/kg dry EFB or 16 g/L could be produced at optimum dehydration process conditions of temperature 198 degrees C and 11 min residence time. Large quantity of water is utilized in washing process that has to be minimized by alkali or ammonia washing and considerable amount of acetic acid is produced that could be recovered as a product. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.