A two-step hydrothermal process to improve the production of acetic acid was discussed. The first step was to accelerate the formation of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (HMF), 2-furaldehyde (2-FA), and lactic acid (LA), and the second step was to further convert the furans (HMF, 2-FA) and LA produced in the first step to acetic acid by oxidation with newly supplied oxygen. The acetic acid obtained by the two-step process had not only a high yield but also better purity. The contribution of two pathways via furans and LA in the two-step process to convert carbohydrates into acetic acid was roughly estimated as 85-90%, and the ratio of the contributions of furans and LA to yield acetic acid was estimated as 2:1. The fact that WO of carbohydrates is not capable of producing a large amount of acetic acid, while the two-step process can enhance the acetic acid yield, can be explained because formic acid is a basic product of direct oxidation of carbohydrate, and acetic acid in WO of carbohydrates may come from the oxidation of dehydration products of aldose.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry