Improved two-step hydrothermal process for acetic acid production from carbohydrate biomass

Zhibao Huo, Yan Fang, Guodong Yao, Xu Zeng, Dezhang Ren, Fangming Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


An improved two-step process for converting carbohydrate biomass to acetic acid under hydrothermal conditions is proposed. The first step consists of the production of lactic acid from carbohydrate biomass, and the second step consists of conversion of the lactic acid obtained in the first step to acetic acid using CuO as an oxidant. The results indicated that CuO as an oxidant in the second step can significantly improve the production of high-purity acetic acid from lactic acid, and the maximum yield of acetic acid was 61%, with a purity of 90%. The yield of acetic acid obtained using the improved two-step hydrothermal process from carbohydrate biomass, such as glucose, cellulose and starch, was greater than that obtained using traditional two-step process with H2O2 or O2. In addition, a proposed pathway for the production of acetic acid from lactic acid in the second step with CuO was also discussed. The present study provides a useful two-step process for the production of acetic acid from carbohydrate biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Energy Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • CuO
  • acetic acid
  • carbohydrate biomass
  • hydrothermal reactions
  • lactic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Electrochemistry


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