Catalytic dehydration of fructose to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) in low-boiling solvent Hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP)
A mixture of hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) and water was used as a new and unknown monophasic reaction solvent for fructose dehydration in order to produce HMF. HFIP is a low-boiling fluorous alcohol (b.p. 58 °C). Hence, HFIP can be recovered cost efficiently by distillation. Different ion-exchange resins were screened for the HFIP/water system in batch experiments. The best results were obtained for acidic macroporous ion-exchange resins, and high HMF yields up to 70% were achieved. The effects of various reaction conditions like initial fructose concentration, catalyst concentration, water content in HFIP, temperature and influence of the catalyst particle size were evaluated. Up to 76% HMF yield was attained at optimized reaction conditions for high initial fructose concentration of 0.5M(90 g/L ). The ion-exchange resin can simply be recovered by filtration and reused several times. This reaction system with HFIP/water as solvent and the ion-exchange resin Lewatit K2420 as catalyst shows excellent performance for HMF synthesis.